Since last week, President of South Sudan Salva Kiir has very publicly extended olive branches to a number of rebel leaders, political opposition, and other armed actors in the South who have the potential to stir up violence and threaten the vote.
A decision by the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly to arm and train the so-called Arrow Boys underlines the inability of South Sudan’s army to protect civilians while raising the risk that the new militia could constitute an effective private army for local politicians seeking influence.
After months of deadlock over the appointment of the secretary general for the South Sudan Referendum Commission, the SPLM has conceded to what is largely viewed as an NCP nomination for the position, announcing Monday that it would allow a northerner to take the post.
In less than six months, the people of southern Sudan will vote in a self-determination referendum that is expected to result in the secession of the South roughly a year from now. The dynamics shaping the historic and dramatic changes in Sudan are fluid, yet some of the core issues facing southern Sudan will endure regardless of the outcome of the referendum. In this field dispatch for Enough, southern Sudan field researcher Maggie Fick identifies some of these key, lesser recognized, flashpoints.
Hundreds gathered on a rainy morning in Sudan’s southern capital of Juba to mark the countdown to southern Sudan’s self-determination referendum.
Despite the recent efforts of the National Congress Party to “make unity attractive” to southerners anxious to cast their votes in the upcoming self-determination referendum, the resounding sentiment of southerners still seems to rest in the “separation” camp.
The body charged with administering South Sudan’s vote on secession or unity was finally approved yesterday in a unanimous vote by the Sudanese parliament after months of disagreement and delays.
Renegade South Sudan General George Athor, whose forces have clashed with the South Sudan army several times in the last two months, said he is coordinating further attacks against the army with two other militia leaders who are also disgruntled with the recently held elections
The most recent LRA attack in South Sudan happened yesterday, May 16, 2010. A source on the ground told Enough that between 30 and 40 LRA rebels attacked near the town of Tambura, close to the borders with the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Dissident army general George Athor continues to challenge South Sudan’s ruling party and army, jeopardizing the stability of the region before its critical vote for secession next year.
Hostilities continue to mount between South Sudan’s army, the SPLA, and a renegade army general who last week announced that he was amassing a personal contingent of soldiers in order to challenge election results in the southern state of Jonglei.
Election-related threats by a renegade general of the southern Sudanese army signal a worrisome trend for a region where security has been undermined by ethnic tensions, the wide proliferation of arms, and a disorganized army of soldiers whose loyalties often lie more with individual commanders than the institution itself.
In a new field dispatch that came out today, Enough’s South Sudan Field Researcher Maggie Fick looks at the local violence that could arise from political tensions underlying four races in the South.
As Africa’s largest country—positioned in arguably the most strategic and volatile corner of the continent—prepares for a likely split into two nations next year, security sector reform in the South will be an issue that the international community cannot afford to ignore.
Inter-communal fighting is only the tip of the iceberg when surveying the South Sudan’s complex security landscape. One disturbing trend in this year’s violence is the number of incidents between southern Sudanese soldiers and civilians, particularly in areas where the army is conducting civilian disarmament campaigns.
In addition to my work as an analyst in southern Sudan, I like to impart stories about everyday life in Sudan, since elections, violence, and political agreements are just some of the elements of the reality of life for southern Sudanese people and for foreigners like me living in the country.
The latest brief from Human Rights Watch on violations of political rights in both North and South Sudan makes a very simple point: much (maybe too much) will have to be done between now and April before elections in Sudan can truly become the vehicle of profound democratic change for the Sudanese people.