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:

  • Last week saw heavy fighting in South Sudan’s Unity state between the Southern army, the SPLA, and a rebel militia led by former SPLA officer, Peter Gadet. The SPLA say more than 100 people have been killed, and thousands forced to flee. South Sudan has accused the North of aiding the rebels, saying that the Popular Defence Force (PDF), a Northern-backed Arab militia, fought alongside Gadet.
  • There was also fighting in neighbouring Jonglei state between the SPLA and the forces of rebel Gabriel Tang, the SPLA say Tang has now surrendered along with at least 1,300 soldiers.
  • In an interview with the Guardian Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said it is in the North’s interest to ensure a stable South Sudan as any problems will inevitably impact the North. In the same interview Bashir said he was “responsible” for what happened in Darfur, but that the International Criminal Court (ICC) charges against him were “political.” He said government soldiers never targeted civilians, and the figures given by the ICC for the number of people displaced by the conflict were exaggerated.
  • 1 July has been set as the date for the referendum on Darfur’s future administrative status. The Darfuri rebel groups remain opposed to the vote, and last week Sudan criticised the rebels’ suspension of peace talks over the issue.
  • The Satellite Sentinel Project has released images that it says show intentional destruction of buildings in the village of El-Feid in South Kordofan. El-Feid is the home town of Abdelaziz al-Hilu, the SPLM candidate in the upcoming gubernatorial elections in South Kordofan. Al-Hilu has claimed that the PDF are responsible for the attack. Two opposition parties, the National Umma Party and the Popular Congress Party have announced they will be boycotting the elections, accusing the NCP and SPLM candidates of misusing state resources to bolster their election campaigns.
  • North Sudan has offered to take on all of the country’s international debt when the South gains independence in July, in exchange for inclusion in the International Monetary Fund’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

News in detail:

South Sudan

Reuters: Several killed in South Sudan army, militia clashes 22 Apr: Several soldiers were killed in clashes between South Sudan's army and rebel militia in oil-producing Unity State, the army said on Friday.

Guardian: South Sudan is already a divided nation, Omar al-Bashir warns 22 Apr: The new state of South Sudan, which is due to become an independent nation in July after voting to secede in a referendum in January, will have the full backing and support of the Khartoum government, the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has pledged.

Sudan Tribune: South Sudan army accuses Khartoum of backing clashes in Unity state Apr 22: South Sudan’s army on Friday, accused the central government in Khartoum of backing ongoing clashes in Unity state by forces loyal to renegade general Peter Gatdet.,38662

AFP: Thousands flee clashes in South Sudan oil state 23 Apr:  Thousands of civilians have fled fighting between rebels and South Sudan's army in oil-producing Unity state, as separate clashes erupted elsewhere in the troubled region on Saturday, officials said.

Alert Net: South Sudan clashes kill 165 in a week – army 25 Apr: At least 165 people have been killed in the past week in fighting between South Sudan's army and militia, the army said on Monday, part of a wave of violence in the territory ahead of its independence in July.

South Kordofan

BBC: Southern Kordofan town 'attacked deliberately' 19 Apr: There is proof of deliberate destruction in Sudan, claims a satellite monitoring programme set up by actor George Clooney and others.

Sudan Tribune: Two opposition parties boycott polls in Sudan’s South Kordofan State 21 Apr: A couple of mainstream opposition parties in North Sudan have decided to boycott gubernatorial elections in the country’s central state of South Kordofan, citing objections to what they termed as the use of state resources to support the two frontrunners.,38658


Sudan Tribune: Sudan rules out peace agreement with JEM in April 18 Apr: Sudanese government today criticized the suspension of peace talks by the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) which asks Khartoum to renounce a referendum on Darfur administrative status.,38619

AFP: Biden says 'great concern' over Darfur security 18 Apr: US Vice President Joe Biden has expressed "great concern" that security conditions in Darfur "continue to deteriorate" just months before Sudan is to split into separate states, the White House has said.

Sudan Tribune: Darfur mediators to submit final draft peace agreement on 27 April 19 Apr: Darfur peace mediators are preparing to submit a final draft peace agreement in the last week of April to the Sudanese government and the two rebel groups participating in the talks, said a statement released in Doha on Tuesday.,38634

Sudan Tribune: UNMAID agrees that Darfur conference to be held after peace deal - rebels 21 Apr: A rebel group and the head of the hybrid peacekeeping mission agreed that a dialogue process in Darfur should be held only after the signing of a peace agreement in Doha and after fulfilling the requested conditions to hold it.,38657

AFP: Darfur rebel supporters push ouster of Khartoum govt 21 Apr:  Thousands of supporters of Darfur rebel chief Abdelwahid Nur protested in Sudan on Wednesday, responding to a call from the exiled leader for uprisings to topple the Khartoum government.

AFP: Sudan says to hold Darfur referendum on July 1 25 Apr: Sudan's National Election Commission announced on Sunday that a planned referendum on how the war-torn Darfur region should be governed will take place no later than July 1.

North Sudan

Sudan Tribune: North Sudan offers to bear the country’s external debt in return of joining relief initiative 18 Apr: North Sudan has proposed to undertake the country’s entire external debt in exchange for inclusion in an international program providing insolvent countries with debt relief, officials indicated on Sunday.,38610

Bloomberg: Northern Sudanese oil workers expelled from South will return in 24 hours 21 Apr: Northern Sudanese workers who were expelled yesterday from oilfields in Southern Sudan’s Unity state will return to the region within 24 hours, the Sudanese oil ministry said.

Sudan Tribune: North Sudan’s ruling party risks implosion as internal rifts come into view 24 Apr: North Sudan’s governing National Congress Party (NCP) has more than once proved to be able to overcome divisions – but a rare show of discord between senior party officials this week has indicated it might be teetering on the edge of implosion.,38690

Sudan Tribune: Sudan’s opposition leader Al-Turabi to be released soon, paper reports 24 Apr: Sudan’s Islamist opposition leader, Hassan Al-Turabi, will be released from detention imminently and allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment, a local Sudanese daily has reported, quoting “authorized” government sources.,38680

North-South Relations

Sudan Tribune: SPLM’s Northern sector accused of inciting US to wage war on Sudan 24 Apr: North Sudan’s ruling national congress party (NCP) has accused the Northern sector of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of inciting the U.S to wage a new war on the country.,38684