Blog

June 1, 2011

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled Abyei and its surrounding areas as a result of the Sudanese army’s seizure and occupation of the disputed border region. Since the incursion, widespread looting and destruction of Abyei town under the army’s watch has been documented and humanitarian agencies continue to face challenges accessing the newly displaced communities. The town of Agok, which sits just south of Abyei, has been vacated...

May 31, 2011

MAYEN ABUN, Southern Sudan -- “White airplanes” had been circling ominously overhead for a couple of days before they started dropping bombs.  It was Saturday when one fell on Achai Ajak Atem’s house, killing her mother and baby brother. At 14, Achai is the oldest of her four siblings. Their father died five years ago. Suddenly in charge, Achai gathered the other children and started running. They ran in the same...

May 26, 2011

Deng Arop Kuol, the Chief Administrator of Abyei until the SAF occupation, has called on the international community, and in particular the U.N. Security Council and the United States, to "take tough action" and exert greater pressure on President Omar al-Bashir. He said the tough action should not exclude military options.

Following the Sudanese army incursion, President Bashir unilaterally dissolved the Abyei administration. The entire population of Abyei, an estimated 150,000 people according to Kuol, has fled to towns like Aniet and Turalei, walking long distances with...

May 23, 2011

By: John Prendergast

Sunday, as the Khartoum regime was solidifying its military occupation of Abyei and beginning to loot and burn the town, I heard from one of the foremost experts on Sudan in the world, Dr. Douglas Johnson. We agreed that Bashir's government felt certain that it would face no international consequences for its attack on Abyei, which threatens to plunge the North and South back to full-scale war. In the absence of any cost or accountability, to have believed that Khartoum would NOT strike would have been foolhardy.

This is what Dr. Johnson wrote to me:...

May 20, 2011

On Friday, three villages north of Abyei town were reportedly bombed, and a fourth reportedly bombed or shelled, according to multiple reports from sources on the ground, said the Enough Project. Sources say the Sudan Armed Forces conducted the bombings. These reports have not been officially confirmed. The U.N. Security Council had been scheduled for a visit to Abyei this coming Monday.

“The Khartoum regime is apparently repeating its favorite war tactic – bombardment of civilian populations – which has been used with such negative effect in Darfur and the South...

April 1, 2011

With the growing military presence in northern Abyei, an already dire humanitarian situation looms on the edge of becoming worse. The most recent crises, involving the burning of three villages, forced the displacement of thousands of people to south of Abyei town along the River Kiir.

Testimony collected through interviews conducted by the Enough Project among displaced Ngok Dinka communities in the region illustrate the human impact...

April 1, 2011

Since the announcement in February of Major General Scott Gration’s departure from the Sudan special envoy post, observers of U.S.-Sudan policy have been eager to learn who will be next to step up to bat. Former Ambassador Princeton Lyman, who has been part of the U.S. diplomatic team working on Sudan for the last six months, was announced as the new special envoy today.

Here’s an excerpt from the White House...

March 30, 2011

The Sudan advocacy community was on high alert – though cautiously quiet – when news publicly emerged late last week that one of the main suppliers of food aid in West Darfur would be forced to close down operations. On Friday, Catholic Relief Services said that its food program would end this month, leaving 400,000 people without monthly food rations. By Monday, CRS announced that it was given permission by Khartoum to resume services and that it would work with the local government to begin distribution quickly.

A number of prominent news outlets, including wire...

March 29, 2011

Three and a half months from now, the world's newest nation will be born: the Republic of Southern Sudan. Heady times for a people who have fought for 50 years for freedom, and won the right to vote in what was a peaceful independence referendum in January. But this road to freedom is filled with danger points, none more so than Abyei, the hotly disputed Connecticut-sized territory wedged within the border between North and South.

Peace processes are full of moments, of choices, with implications that affect hundreds of thousands of lives. Sudan is mired in one of those moments...

March 26, 2011

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 Southern Sudan’s vote in January, and he filed a new Enough Project field dispatch based on interviews there. He wrote:

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