Sudan Armed Forces are fighting units of the southern-affiliated Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) that have refused to give up their arms and return to the south after independence.
The rebels, who are fighting for regime change in Sudan, have joined forces with the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement.
International organizations say Sudan’s army has massacred civilians in the Nuba Mountains in Southern Kordofan. A satellite monitoring group recently revealed the presence of mass graves in the state.
Sudanese officials deny the allegations and claim the dispute is an internal matter.
John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, an anti-genocide group, dismissed Sudan’s position.
“It is not an internal matter when a government slaughters its own citizens. It is not an internal matter when the government starves its own citizens,” he said.
“At some point, the international community is not going to continue to dangle carrots in front of a genocidal regime. At some point, it will start to use sticks.”
As insecurity grips large swaths of the country, a financial crisis is expected to hit the north after Sudan and South Sudan reach a deal of sharing oil revenue.
A majority of the oil fields are in South Sudan, but the pipelines that carry the oil to the Port of Sudan are in the north.
E.J. Hogendoorn, Horn of Africa project director at the International Crisis Group, said the fiscal crunch that Khartoum will face once an agreement on oil revenue sharing is reached is likely to increase discontent within the National Congress Party.
If Gen. Bashir’s regime falls, it is not clear what would take its place.
“The likely option would be chaos rather than a smooth transfer of power,” said Mr. Hogendoorn.
Some regime officials also are growing more resentful of the United States and say Sudan got nothing for its agreement to allow the south to secede.
The Obama administration has offered a road map to the Bashir government that links lifting sanctions and removing Sudan from the terrorism list to peace in Darfur and full implementation of a 2005 peace accord that ended two decades of north-south civil war respectively. The road map also includes a referendum on the fate on Abyei.
“We are still offering that road map once the [peace treaty] obligations are fulfilled,” said Barrie Walkley, the top U.S. diplomat in South Sudan.View Entire Story
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Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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