Following the independence of South Sudan, 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 roundup

  • As the dispute over oil continues, both Sudan and South Sudan have talked up the possibility of war. In a television broadcast, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said the two countries were closer to war than peace. Earlier in the week, Sudan accused the South of “hostility”, and said it would hold the South responsible for any attacks on northern oil infrastructure. Meanwhile, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir talked of the need for a comprehensive agreement, which settled issues such as Abyei, if future conflict is to be avoided. South Sudan has rejected an African Union proposal which would see the South pay $6.5 billion to Sudan in oil transit fees. South Sudan shut down all oil production just over a week ago, a decision the UN says will increase South Sudan’s dependence on food aid.
  • The US has accused Sudan of targeting civilians in airstrikes in South Kordofan. In a recent attack, a US-funded bible school was destroyed.
  • The World Food Program says up to 500,000 refugees could flee Sudan for South Sudan if aid agencies are not allowed into border regions affected by conflict and food shortages.
  • The UN says it is investigating reports of 80 people massacred by uniformed armed men in Warrap state, South Sudan. 37 people were killed during a firefight at a meeting held to resolve cattle disputes in Unity state.

News in detail

North-South relations

AFP: Sudan closer to war than peace with south: Bashir 04 Feb: Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir said on national television on Friday, with a dispute over oil and other issues stoking tensions. Read more

AFP: South Sudan warns of war without 'comprehensive' deal 02 Feb: The president of South Sudan warned on Thursday of renewed conflict with former foes in north Sudan if bitter oil negotiations do not include a deal on other key issues, including the contested Abyei region. Read more

Reuters: Sudan says South Sudan "hostile" in oil row 01 Feb: Sudan, stepping up its rhetoric, accused South Sudan of "hostility" in their row over oil transit fees and said it would hold Juba responsible for any attack on northern oil facilities, a state-linked news website said on Wednesday. Read more

Reuters: South Sudan rejects African Union oil plan - Financial Times 01 Feb: South Sudan's chief negotiator has rejected African Union-backed proposals that could see it pay up to $6.5 billion to Sudan in the latest attempt to break a deadlock between the two over oil export transit fees, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. Read more

Reuters: Sudan frees South Sudan's oil tankers; dispute continues 30 Jan: Sudan released tankers loaded with South Sudanese oil that had been held at Port Sudan in a row over export transit fees, days after Khartoum seized crude from its new neighbour and offered it at a steeply discounted price. Read more

Reuters: Sudan asked Petrodar to load South Sudan oil - South Sudan 31 Jan: Sudan asked Chinese-Malaysian oil venture Petrodar to load 600,000 barrels of South Sudanese crude for export but the firm refused, a Southern official said on Tuesday, a development likely to further inflame a row over transit fees. Read more


CNN: US accuses Sudan of bombing civilians 04 Feb: The United States accused Sudan of targeting civilians in recent airstrikes, including one that destroyed a Bible school in South Kordofan, an oil-rich Sudanese province that borders the newly-created independent country of South Sudan. Read more

Reuters: Sudan rebels "seeking way" to hand over abducted Chinese 04 Feb: Sudanese rebels said they are looking for ways to hand over 29 Chinese workers held in the border state of South Kordofan, Chinese state media said, as Sudan's government confirmed the death of one worker in a firefight. Read more

Bloomberg: Sudan security agents arrest opposition members, Umma Party says 31 Jan: Four members of Sudan’s main opposition Umma party were arrested yesterday in the capital, Khartoum, party officials said. Read more

Reuters: Up to 500,000 new refugees could flee to South Sudan - WFP 30 Jan: Conflict and food shortages could push up to half a million Sudanese refugees to flee to South Sudan in the next couple months, if Khartoum does not allow aid agencies more access to its restive border regions, the World Food Program said. Read more

South Sudan

Reuters: South Sudan shoot-out kills 37, wounds UN policeman 04 Feb: A shoot-out among South Sudanese security forces using truck-mounted machine guns killed 37 people and injured a United Nations policeman on Wednesday, UN and government officials said on Friday. Read more

Reuters: UN investigates reports of South Sudan massacre 01 Feb: The UN mission in South Sudan is investigating reports of a massacre of nearly 80 people by armed men in uniforms, the United Nations said on Wednesday. Read more

Reuters: South Sudan oil shutdown to increase food aid dependence - UN 03 Feb: South Sudan's decision to shut down its oil output will make many more people dependent on food aid in one of the world's most undeveloped nations, the United Nations said. Read more

Sudan Tribune: 13 killed in attacks this week - Jonglei MP 05 Feb: Officials in South Sudan’s Jonglei state say armed raiders killed more than ten people in two separate attacks in Akobo and Bor counties this week, in the latest violence to affect the country’s largest state. Read more

Bloomberg: South Sudan says Total ready to start oil exploration in Jonglei 31 Jan: Total SA (FP) has agreed to begin oil exploration in the South Sudanese state of Jonglei where it holds a concession, South Sudan’s chief negotiator said. Read more