Sudan: The Wars Continue


November 8, 2011:  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting that South Sudan’s oil revenue will begin declining in the next decade. Oil provides South Sudan with over 95 percent of its revenue. South Sudan needs to find more oil fields and it has oil companies looking. It also has issues with production equipment and transport. Right now South Sudan has to ship its oil through (northern) Sudan, and the north charges exorbitant transport fees.

November 7, 2011: Gunmen in Darfur attacked a Sierra Leone UNAMID peacekeeping patrol. Two peacekeepers were wounded in the attack and one was killed.

November 6, 2011: In early October, the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan were promising peace. Today Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan, accused South Sudan of provocations and said he was ready to go back to war. The north claims that the south is supporting rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

November 1, 2011: Sudan claimed that its forces had killed 100 rebels in a major battle near Taludi in South Kordofan state. Sudanese military forces are also accused of committing atrocities in Blue Nile state. Sudanese soldiers ran down and murdered civilians in the town of Um Darfa (Blue Nile). There are very few international observers and media in the area so no one knows for certain. Over time, aid workers in refugee centers provide better information, as refugees from the battle areas filter into camps. Refugees in Blue Nile state are fleeing into Ethiopia.

October 30, 2011: South Kordofan state is engulfed in a miniature version of the north-south civil war. Somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 people have fled the fighting, which includes air raids by Sudanese air force aircraft. The food situation in the Nuba Mountain region is already dismal. The Sudan government is blocking food aid shipments. Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) was, prior to South Sudan’s independence, a northern faction of the Sudan Peoples Liberation movement (SPLM), the ruling party in South Sudan. Since mid-Summer it has become a guerrilla army.

October 28, 2011: Sudanese aircraft have launched new bombing attacks in Blue Nile state. Another 200 refugees have fled into Ethiopia. The bombers appeared to be prop-driven aircraft, likely Antonov transports rigged as bombers. The Sudanese Air Force has used Antonovs in this capacity in Darfur.

October 27, 2011: Sudanese forces attacked and captured a SPLM-N rebel base near the town of Taludi (Toladi) in South Kordofan state, killing 15 rebel fighters. The rebels disputed this government claim.

October 26, 2011: Authorities in Eastern Equatoria state (South Sudan) are accusing the government of Uganda of moving border markers. The accusation says that Uganda has also managed to change Global Positioning System satellite data. This is a pretty wild claim. The on the ground truth? Locals in South Sudan and in Uganda have an on-going land dispute. The Ugandan military still occasionally has patrols cross the border into South Sudan, to look for signs of Lord's Resistance Army operations. The Ugandan military, however, says the LRA now largely operates in the Congo and the Central African Republic.

October 24, 2011: The Sudanese government claimed that it provided extensive support for Libyan rebel groups in their successful war on the regime of Muammar Gadhafi. An official indicated that the support, which included weapons, was payback for Gadhafi’s attempts to destabilize Sudan.

October 21, 2011: The government of South Sudan said that it supports American help in the fight against the LRA. The US has provided a small force (around 100 soldiers, most of them special operations troops) to help Uganda track down LRA cadres. The deployment is controversial in the US, but not in the Congo and South Sudan, where unprotected villages have been savaged by LRA attacks.

October 17, 2011: The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) warned that it would begin new offensive operations in Darfur if the Sudanese government does not agree to new peace negotiations. The JEM is the best organized Darfur rebel movement. It manages to maintain mobile (vehicle-borne) ground forces along the Sudan-Chad border region and has a fairly sophisticated diplomatic operation as well.




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