This multimedia timeline tracks developments on the ground in Abyei that have unfolded during the past several months, as talks at the political level between the two parties continued to yield no solution to the region’s status. Read More »
Less than two months away from South Sudan’s independence, women in the soon-to-be state have united together to ensure their rights and gendered concerns are incorporated into the new constitution. Over the weekend the South Sudan Women’s Coalition—made up of a number of women’s professional and civil society groups—held a two-day workshop in Juba to discuss the draft transitional constitution and the constitutional review process. Read More »
The question of ‘who is a southerner and who is a northerner?’ in Sudan will soon be unavoidable. The Khartoum government is set to begin registering citizens and issuing new national ID cards, a practical example of how the imminent split of Sudan will affect its citizens.
The national ID card will be required to receive state-sponsored services, such as to register for school, conduct banking transactions, and acquire additional IDs and permits, such as passports and driving licenses. Read More »
Elections kicked off in Southern Kordofan today, a tense Sudanese border state that is host to a variety of armed actors, teeming with discontent among the population, and a competitive political scene divided between the ruling northern and southern parties, or the NCP and SPLM.
With less than 70 days left until southerners hoist a new national flag, the optimism in South Sudan of heralding a new beginning has been beset with the perennial problem of armed non-state actors. In Unity state, dealing with the cyclical violence since the April elections last year has become particularly foreboding for the southern government. Read More »
Google Maps – the great site that many people use to find directions to the nearest sushi restaurant, or navigate the shortest route to grandma’s house –is becoming more global by the day. One largely under-mapped region, South Sudan, got a big boost thanks to Google’s map-a-thon on Thursday.
The event, held jointly at the World Bank in Washington and at Google in Nairobi, brought together map makers with the technological know-how and Sudanese diaspora with knowledge of the local terrain. The end result was a refined, more detailed map that is approaching the most accurate map ever created of the region. Read More »
Earlier this week, a draft of South Sudan’s transitional constitution was made public and submitted to South Sudan President Salva Kiir for his review. Once finalized, the document will serve as the guiding legal document for the new republic during its critical transitional phase. The contents of the draft, amended by an SPLM-dominated committee, have left some opposition members angry; one leader called the document a “dictatorial” move by the SPLM to maintain its monopoly on power. Read More »
Upcoming elections in a heavily militarized border state have Sudan observers worrying that the exercise could lead to violence in an area whose stability is key to peace in Sudan. The vote, which was postponed since last April, will take place in South Kordofan state on May 2 and will select the state’s governor and legislative members. One candidate for governor is the notorious incumbent, Ahmed Haroun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur. Read More »
As troops from both the SAF and SPLA continue to swell in the Abyei region, U.N. peacekeepers there face perhaps their toughest test yet to try and contain a potential North-South war. Judging from internal U.N. reports and recent interviews on the ground, inaction in Abyei has cost the U.N. peacekeepers precious credibility with the local population that once lost will be very difficult to regain. Read More »
In a recent report analyzing South Sudan’s changing political scene, the International Crisis Group described the region’s transition to statehood as a “window of opportunity,” particularly for those formerly excluded from positions of political power, “in which relationships between, and among, state and non-state actors may be redefined.” The assurance of South Sudan’s independence in July appears to have altered the calculations of many of the region’s armed actors in similar fashion. Since the announcement of South Sudan’s referendum results in early February, the region’s headlines have been dominated by the violent activities of existing militias, and the announcements of new ones emerging. Read More »