July 3, 2013: After two days of high-level negotiations the two Sudans announced an agreement to keep the Sudan pipeline open and work together to bring peace to both sides of their 2,000 kilometer long mutual border. This has all been heard before, and the problem has always been to get all the factions in both Sudans to cooperate.
July 2, 2013: South Sudan knows it has friends. In late June Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda signed a pipeline construction agreement. South Sudan and Kenya had already agreed to build a pipeline from South Sudan. The Kenyan Connection would break the strategic stranglehold over South Sudanese oil exports that Sudan currently enjoys. In mid-June Sudan once again threatened to shutdown South Sudan’s oil exports by denying South Sudan access to Sudan’s pipeline system. The Rwanda-Uganda-Kenya pipeline will transport Ugandan oil and potentially oil from Tanzania. The South Sudan-Kenya pipeline will run to the Kenyan port of Lamu. The additional pipeline will terminate at Kenya’s major port, Mombasa. In theory, the two pipelines could have a connecting pipeline, which provides some additional strategic redundancy.
June 30, 2013: South Sudan announced that it had made its first oil export shipment since 2011. The oil passed through Sudan’s pipeline system to Port Sudan. Sudan said that it will deny South Sudan access to its pipeline system but South Sudan will be allowed to export oil that is already in the system.
June 29, 2013: Some 10,000 people in the capital demonstrated against Sudanese president Omar al Bashir. His political opponents claimed they want to topple him in an Arab Spring-type revolution. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in Sudan’s Darfur region.
June 28, 2013: Two people were killed in inter-clan fighting at a cattle camp in South Sudan's Lakes state. This was a dispute over a wrestling match that led to violence between the Lith and Nam sub-clans in Yirol East county. Soldiers were deployed in response to the violence.
June 27, 2013: The Bani Hussein tribe in Sudan’s North Darfur state accused Rizeigat tribal raiders of launching a motorized (using four-wheel drive vehicles) cattle raid on the town of El Sireaf and killing at least 40 people. The raiders rounded up some cattle and left. Cattle are valuable but gold drives this Darfur tribal war. For the last seven months the tribes have repeatedly clashed over control of a gold mine located near El Sireaf. The Sudanese government and UN peacekeepers interved earlier.
June 26, 2013: The Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi faction (SLA-MM) claimed it killed seven Sudanese Army soldiers in a firefight in North Darfur state (near the village of Birka and the town of El Fasher). The Sudanese Army began the action with a motorized attack on a rebel position. The SLA-MM claimed it stopped the attack and subsequently captured four Toyota Land Cruisers rigged as technical vehicles and armed with heavy machine guns.
June 21, 2013: The UN believes that conditions in Sudan’s Darfur region have deteriorated, particularly in western Darfur. That area is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster. Though a former commander of the UN-AU UNAMID peacekeeping force claimed the war in Darfur is over, aid workers in the area have noticed a spike in fighting and violent attacks on refugees.
June 20, 2013: The UN asked the government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement –North (SPLM-N) to send negotiators to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. The immediate issue is a polio vaccination campaign. However, the real issue is Sudan’s restrictions on food and medical aid in the area.
June 16, 2013: SPLM-N fighters have taken up positions three kilometers from the town of Buram (South Kordofan state, Sudan). The mayor of Buram said that the force is receiving supplies from South Sudanese army forces which are directly across the border.
June 15, 2013: The SPLM-N claimed that it's fighters seized a government garrison near the town of Mujama (South Kordofan state). Mujama is west of the capital of South Kordofan, Kadugli.