Following South Sudan's referendum on independence, Insight on Conflict will be producing a weekly round-up of the news. To subscribe to receive the updates via email, please contact or complete the form below.

News round-up:

  • South Sudan has suspended talks with the North over unresolved issues ahead of separation. The South believe they have uncovered a plot, led by Northern President Omar al-Bashir, to overthrow the ruling SPLM party. The SPLM have accused the NCP of planning ‘genocide’ in the South by backing rebel militias. As well as suspending talks, the SPLM say they will look for ways to export oil that bypasses the North. The NCP have called the accusations ‘ridiculous’, and said that they will still recognise an independent South when it declares independence – currently scheduled for 9 July.
  • There has been heavy fighting in South Sudan between the Southern Army (SPLA) and rebel militias. Fighting in Upper Nile continued throughout the week between the SPLA and forces led by Oliny – a former SPLA soldier who the SPLA say is backed by the North. On Saturday, Oliny launched a dawn raid on Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state – over 45 people were killed. In Jonglei, there were clashes between the SPLA and rebel General Athor. Athor has claimed that over 130 SPLA soldiers defected to him last week, this is denied by the SPLA. Athor also announced an alliance between his forces and those of Oliny. Documents seen by the Associated Press reportedly show that the SPLA has ordered UN peacekeepers to stay out of the regions affected by the fighting.
  • Nine political parties have pulled out of the constitutional review in South Sudan. They say the SPLM is using its dominance of South Sudan to push through its agenda.
  • In Abyei, the Satellite Sentinel Project has released images that they claim show a military build-up within the region, with forces taking up new positions ahead of what could be a new escalation in violence.
  • There have been a number of protests in the North last week. However, these protests were generally small and quickly broken up. On Wednesday, a demonstration organised by opposition parties was reportedly met with 500 riot police, beatings and arrests. On Tuesday, 40 women were arrested after beginning a demonstration against the alleged rape of a female activist by security services last month. About 200 people in South  Kordofan protested over the lack of jobs.
  • Khartoum has outlined plans to create two new states in Darfur, in addition to the three that currently exist. Rebels have called it a ‘divide and rule’ strategy. But the government say the people will have the choice to accept or reject the plan in a referendum which will also ask whether they want a single, unified administrative region for Darfur. The rebel Justice and Equality Movement said they are suspending their involvement in peace talks over the plan. 17 people died in heavy fighting between the government forces and SLA-Abdelwahid rebels, according to the army.

News in detail:

South Sudan

BBC: Rebel Athor claims Oliny as new ally 7 Mar: At least 50 people have reportedly been killed in South Sudan clashes, as rebel leader George Athor claims a new militia has joined him.

Sudan Tribune: Nine South Sudanese political parties pull out from constitutional review 8 Mar:  Nine South Sudanese political parties announced they are pulling out from a constitutional review committee following disagreements on power-sharing allocations with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which controls affairs of South Sudan.,38226

AFP: Scores killed in South Sudan clashes 8 Mar: Two days of clashes between South Sudanese troops and separate rebel militias have left at least 92 people dead, the army's spokesman said on Monday, clouding the countdown to independence for the impoverished region.

AP: South Sudan asks UN to avoid battle areas 11 Mar: Scores of villagers have died in recent fighting in Southern Sudan despite the presence of 10,000 UN troops mandated with protecting civilians. Now, internal documents suggest that UN officials have ordered the peacekeepers not to operate in an area where civilians are at risk in upcoming battles, after being asked to avoid the region by the South's military.

Sudan Tribune: South Sudan’s army denies defection of over 130 soldiers to renegade Athor 11 Mar: The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the military wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which controls the government of South Sudan, denied Friday that 136 of its soldiers had defected to renegade General George Athor Deng Dut.,38255

AFP: South Sudan rebels raid oil town – officials 12 Mar: Rebels killed several policemen in a pre-dawn attack on the capital of South Sudan's oil-rich Upper Nile state on Saturday, before Southern troops drove them back in heavy fighting, officials said.

Small arms survey: Recent fighting in Abyei; and the threat posed by Gabriel Tang-Ginye 12 Mar: Recent updates from the Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) include information and analysis on continued fighting in Abyei, and the threat posed by armed groups under the leadership of Gabriel Tang-Ginye.

Sudan Tribune: Over 45 people killed in Upper Nile’s clashes Mar 13: At least 49 people are reported to have been killed and 14 others injured in an armed confrontation between the Southern Army (SPLA) and a rebel group in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state in South Sudan.,38274

North-South Relations

Sudan Tribune: North Sudan’s NCP to establish political party in the South 12 Mar: South Sudanese members of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in North Sudan have decided to establish a new political party in the emerging state of South Sudan.,38267

Alert Net: South Sudan accuses Bashir of plot, suspends talks 12 Mar: South Sudan accused Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir of arming militias to overthrow the South's government before the secession of the oil-producing region in July, and suspended talks with Khartoum

Alert Net: South Sudan plot accusation ‘ridiculous’ – NCP 12 Mar: Accusations of a Northern plot against Southern Sudan are ‘ridiculous’ and the South should feel free to go ahead with a threat to find new routes to export its oil, a Northern party official said on Saturday

Bloomberg: Sudan to recognise independent South after talks suspension 13 Mar: Sudan’s ruling party said today it will recognise Southern Sudan after its sovereignty is declared on July 9, even as post-independence talks were suspended.

Sudan Tribune: Khartoum’s NCP planning genocide in South Sudan – SPLM 13 Mar: A senior member of South Sudan’s ruling party has accused the Khartoum-based National Congress Party (NCP) of backing militias with the intention to cause a “genocide” in the semi-autonomous region as it approaches independence.,38272


AFP: Satellite images: 300 burned buildings in Sudan 08 Mar: Satellite images from a group backed by actor George Clooney showed some 300 buildings burned to the ground from a militia attack in a contested area of Sudan, the group said Monday.

Alert Net: Rival troops build up in Sudan's Abyei – satellite 11 Mar: Troops linked to North and South Sudan have taken up new positions in the contested Abyei region, according to satellite monitoring, raising fears of an escalation of violence

North Sudan

Reuters: Sudan police arrest women in rape protest – witnesses 08 Mar: Sudanese riot police arrested more than 40 women, minutes after they started a protest against rape and rights abuses on Tuesday, witnesses said in the latest sign of a crackdown on dissent

AFP: Dozens held as Sudan blocks demo 10 Mar: Hundreds of baton-wielding riot police barred Sudanese opposition activists from demonstrating in Khartoum on Wednesday, arresting dozens and beating up others.

Reuters: Jobless graduates protest in Sudan oil area – witnesses 10 Mar: More than 200 unemployed graduates took to the streets to demand jobs in the main oil-producing state of Northern Sudan on Thursday, witnesses said, a rare display of dissent in a politically sensitive area.

Sudan Tribune: Sudan reportedly objects to no-fly zone over Libya 11 Mar: The Sudanese will object to an Arab League resolution demanding the establishment of a No-Fly Zone (NFZ) over Libya as fighting rages between forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and rebels seeking to topple his regime.,38260


AFP: Two Darfur rebels to be tried for peacekeepers' deaths – ICC 9 Mar: Two Darfur rebel leaders will be put on trial for the deaths of 12 African peacekeepers in 2007 in the war-torn western region of Sudan, the International Criminal Court said on Tuesday.

AFP: Clashes kill 17 in Sudan's Darfur – army 10 Mar: Heavy clashes between a major rebel group and the Sudanese army in central Darfur have killed 15 rebels and two soldiers, army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said on Wednesday.

AFP: Darfur rebels slam Khartoum 'divide and rule' plan 10 Mar:  Darfur rebels on Wednesday condemned a government plann to establish two new states in Sudan's war-torn western region as a policy of divide and rule that undermines the prospects for peace.


Reuters: US condemns violence in contested Sudanese region 09 Mar: The United States urged leaders in North and South Sudan on Wednesday to curb violence in the country's contested Abyei region and to meet as soon as possible to resolve its final status.