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New satellite imagery of the border area between Sudan and South Sudan shows that neither government has fulfilled international obligations to demilitarize their shared border. Despite public recommitments made by both presidents in early September 2013, Sudanese and South Sudanese forces retain military units within the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), including areas that are still subject to border dispute. DigitalGlobe satellite imagery shows that Sudan has kept a military presence along the border at six locations with 14 occupied positions. Sudan appears to have made an effort to remove or relocate some units positioned inside the SDBZ, but only the unit at Radom appears to be vacated. South Sudanese forces dismantled and then reoccupied a highway defensive position at Teshwin and have reduced their presence at Al Abyad Lake, Kiir Adem, Al-Kwek and Joda. Still, South Sudan maintains a presence at 10 locations in the SDBZ with 22 units. Tanks, technicals (truck-mounted heavy machine guns) and tents are visible on both sides of the border in satellite imagery (Figure 1).
The human rights and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan’s largest state of Jonglei continues to worsen. The long history of rebellion and inter-ethnic clashes in Jonglei has evolved into three overlapping crises: major intercommunal attacks between Murle and Lou Nuer militias, which have led to thousands of deaths and displacements; anongoing destructive rebellion led by David Yau Yau; and major human rights abuses committed by South Sudan’s army against Murle civilians. The suffering of Jonglei’s civilian population is intensifying from the continuing violence and a lack of access to humanitarian assistance.
This op-ed was written by NOOW partner The Enough Project Associate Policy Director, Brian Adeba, and originally appeared in Sudan Tribune.
The replacement of South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar with Taban Deng is a well-tested policy that dates back to the 1980s that the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party has employed to purchase the loyalty of groups opposed to it. Following a shoot-out between the bodyguards of President Salva Kiir and Machar earlier this month, relations between both men worsened, culminating in an attack on the latter’s residence in the capital Juba. Machar fled the city and said he would only return if regional peacekeeping troops were allowed in the country to act as a buffer between the two forces.
Power play “brings South Sudan a step closer to full-scale war”
Read more after the jump.
Upon returning from South Sudan this past week, Not On Our Watch board member John Prendergast has addressed the current situation in-country.
Click through to read further.
This op-ed, authored by board member John Prendergast, originally appeared on The Daily Beast.
Just a day after South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary as the world's newest independent country, fierce fighting between rival factions has resumed, putting the already tenuous August 2015 peace deal in jeopardy. Hundreds are alleged to have been killed in the last few days, and thousands displaced. Command and control on both sides of the fighting appears to have broken down. Nothing seems safe as UN buildings and personnel have been attacked and U.S. diplomatic vehicles have come under fire. Helicopter gunships and tanks have been deployed along with other heavy artillery. Regional leaders are actively promoting a ceasefire, but as someone from that region once told me, "The guns talk louder than the voice."
NOOW partner The Enough Project has released a series of statements on the eve of South Sudan's fifth year of independence.
Read those statements after the jump.