In recent days the renewed hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan have caught the world’s attention. However, the back-and-forth between the two countries has often been difficult to follow. In light of this, the Enough Project has produced a new timeline to chronicle the often confusing events along the border and in the negotiating room.
The timeline details major events since the signing of the non-aggression pact in February to the recent bombings in and around the Unity state capital of Bentiu.
Only two months ago the situation between North and South was very different. On February 11, 2012, the government of Sudan and newly independent state of South Sudan signed a non-aggression pact outlining "respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity" and commitments to "refrain from launching any attack, including bombardment."
By early March, negotiations in Addis Ababa between the two countries had progressed further and a “new spirit of cooperation” had emerged. Plans were made for Presidents Bashir and Kiir to sign the recently agreed upon arrangements in the southern capital of Juba at a bilateral summit.
Unfortunately, these milestones have been short-lived. Recent violent clashes over the oil-rich area of Heglig and continued aerial bombardments of South Sudan by Sudanese forces have severely undermined initial progresses made at the beginning of the year.
In the past week alone, the two countries have slid closer and closer to war. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has increased his saber rattling and war rhetoric stating, “dialogue with these people will be through the gun because they only understand the language of the gun.” Accordingly, the Sudanese Armed Forces, or SAF, has continued bombing attacks well inside South Sudan’s Unity state.