Right along the newest border on the earth’s surface, violence is threatening the stability of the world’s newest nation.

As its July 9th independence date draws closer, South Sudan is facing some of the most alarming violence since its succession. Reports from the ground suggest that Khartoum is hard at work to claim some of the disputed resource rich land near the country’s border.

We reported earlier in May when word broke that northern troops had entered into the disputed Abeyi region. The ensuing clashes are said to have claimed 22 lives, though reports of casualties remain vague at best. According to the Agence France-Presse, 100,000 people have fled the region, and the looting has continued despite assurances from the northern army and President Omar Al-Bashir that it would stop.

The New Republic Reports:

For the past week, there have been many reports of ethnically-targeted executions (including women and children), destruction of churches, the killing of church officials, and bombings of civilian targets in the Nuba Mountains. Geographically situated within South Kordofan State, but nowhere contiguous with the area that will become South Sudan, the Nuba area is populated by an ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse people who sided with the South during the civil war and feel deeply uncomfortable with the threat of Khartoum’s Islamism and Arabism.

 

Today, after weeks of criticism from the international community, President Obama issued a statement calling for a ceasefire saying:

“There is no military solution. The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan must live up to their responsibilities. The government of Sudan must prevent a further escalation of this crisis by ceasing its military actions immediately, including aerial bombardments, forced displacements and campaigns of intimidation. The Sudanese people have come too far and sacrificed too much to see their dreams of a better future slip from their grasp. Now is the time for Sudanese leaders to show the courage and vision that true leadership demands. Now is the time for Sudanese leaders, north and south, to choose peace.”

The latest reports are that the fighting in Sudan is spreading further north, specifically in Unity State. Humanitarian groups are warning that as the rainy season descends, delivering aid to refugees and people in need will become increasingly difficult, as roads and airstrips will be blocked.

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  • Nadell

    I feel w/ each President since the early 1980s and even many years prior should’ve made Sudan their priority and obligation. So the concern for Sudan shouldn’t only focus & rest on President Obama’s shoulders and his administration.
    The conflict and war in Sudan has been going on for decades — all of a sudden the main individual they want to count responsible for taking any type of action is President Obama. Not that I’m saying President Obama and his administration should not do anything (so much can be done in only 2 years), however, Sudan should have become the President from January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009’s ‘Rwanda’.
    Folks have petitioned, rallied, cried and died for years to galvanize action…NOTHING has been done and it seems NO one cares. It’s sad.

  • [email protected]

    Obama says there is no “military solution” for Sudan, but what is the military doing in Libya? It would be nice if Obama gave a crap about Sudan and the other unstable and blood thirsty governments of African countries that are killing black people. Unfortunately so many of the resources of Sub-Saharan Africa have been robbed that there is no incentive for the U.S. to intervene to save innocent people. Yet we have military stationed in Libya, a country to the northeast of Sudan, which also happens to be one of the largest oil reserves on Earth!

  • It’s really hard to say. I think the difference between Libya and Sudan is that although Gaddaffi is awful, his country was fairly stable before the recent uproar. The same can’t be said w/ Sudan. As the above posters mentioned, Sudan has been a country plagued w/ political turmoil for decades.