The Abyei region, long anticipated to be a trouble spot in post-referendum Sudan, has lived up to the expectations, creating an impasse in high-level political talks and erupting in skirmishes on the ground between various forces loyal to the North and the South.
Enough field researcher Mayank Bubna has made numerous trips to the contested region since South Sudan’s vote in January, and he filed a new field dispatch based on interviews there. He wrote:
At this critical juncture, it would be dangerous for the international community, as well as the NCP and SPLM, to remain content with a series of stopgap security measures to address the deteriorating situation on the ground rather than a political solution to Abyei. These measures have sought to address escalating tensions on the ground by introducing into an already combustible environment new security forces, to negligible, or even harmful, effect. As security concerns take predominance over the political agenda, it is only a matter of time before tactics give way to full-scale war.
Photo: Police in Abyei (Enough/Tim Freccia)