The two Sudans on the brink of war?

19 April 2012 | marijnlizzy

20 April 2012

South Sudan

Sudan and South Sudan, the disputed oil regions marked. (BBC)

Ever since South Sudan’s independence almost a year ago the dispute over who owns the states on the border – where the oil fields lie – has yet to be resolved.

Many hoped this would be resolved though diplomacy. Now, many say that in light of recent events all-out war between the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan is looking more and more likely by the day.

Two weeks ago the South Sudanese army took control of the much disputed state of Heglig, a region which provides more than half of Sudan’s oil. Khartoum is determined to recapture it. As a result of South Sudan’s actions, Sudan has officially labelled South Sudan as ‘an enemy’. Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has called the South Sudanese government ‘an insect… trying to destroy Sudan and our main target from today is to eliminate this insect completely.’

South Sudan, on the other hand, claims that the Khartoum government has been launching attacks from the border oil states on refugee camps holding South Sudanese civilians.

No doubt both sides have misbehaved and whether we will ever know the full truth of what is happening remains to be seen.

What is fueling this conflict? What role do western oil interests play? Is this conflict an African political issue in which the two Sudans are fighting for power, which they believe lies in the oil?

One thing is certain: if war breaks out, many innocent people will suffer once more under the violence brought to a nation by oil and greed.

There are now also rumours that Khartoum is once again in cohorts with the LRA to destabilize South Sudan. This rumour remains unconfirmed. Statements from the UPDF suggest that Uganda will be forced to intervene if the fighting between South Sudan and Sudan escalates into a full-scale war.

 

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