SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN
Civilian populations throughout Sudan and South Sudan continue to be at risk.
The war between the north and south officially ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. As part of the CPA the south was guaranteed the right to vote to stay as part of a unified Sudan, or become an independent country. This vote was held in January 2011, and the the citizens of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence. On July 9, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan was born.
Despite this momentous change, the fates of Sudan and South Sudan remain inextricably linked. They share not only a history, but also signicant cross-border interests, including trade, migration, and resource development, especially with regard to the oil rich border areas. Because of the long history of violence and fears of ongoing interference, southerners greatly distrust their northern neighbors, and the two countries have yet to find a way to respect each other’s sovereignty and peacefully negotiate their relations. There are tensions over the disputed region of Abyei, which has large oil reserves, and which threaten the economic wellbeing and the security of both countries. In the Nuba mountains of South Kordofan, a humanitarian crisis in the border areas between Sudan and South Sudan in the context of a civil war between the government of Sudan and rebels from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement—North, has impacted large swaths of the population. By mid-2013, hundreds of thousands of civilians had fled the fighting as the Sudanese air force indiscriminately bombed civilian targets, and humanitarian groups reported on the dangers of widespread famine because the government of Sudan had blocked aid from reaching peoples in the mountains.
In South Sudan, inter-communal violence continues to be widespread, due to a range of issues – the availability of weapons, ethnic tensions, among armed groups, corruption and limited economic opportunities. Militias, which many experts presume to be supported by the government of Sudan, are a major source of insecurity, and there is potential for continued instigation of violence, either direct or indirect. Finally, South Sudan faces an ongoing challenge of creating a democratic system of governance in a region with little history and few models for such practices.
Large segments of the Darfurian population are traumatized by the experience of losing family members, homes, communities, and livelihoods. Those who survived attacks, particularly women who were raped, suffer long-term physical and emotional effects of the violence, which continues today. Many of the more than two million displaced now live in massive sprawling camp "cities," where they face harassment and abuse. Inside Darfur, violence continues with a wider array of perpetrators. Since the peak of the violence in 2005 when millions of Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit civilians were displaced by large-scale government and Janjaweed offensives, new populations have settled in lands cleared of their former inhabitants.
Many of Darfur's Arab tribes tried to remain neutral during the early years of the conflict. They were neither targeted by nor did they join the government and Janjaweed, but as the conflict continued, some became victims of generalized violence and were displaced. The armed rebel movements also splintered several times and committed acts of violence against civilians.
On March 31, 2005, the UN Security Council referred the case of Darfur, Sudan, to the International Criminal Court (ICC). On March 4, 2009, the ICC announced its historic decision to issue an arrest warrant charging Sudanese President Bashir with five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes for his leadership role in orchestrating the conflict in Darfur. The next day, in retaliation, the Sudanese government expelled some 13 international humanitarian aid groups from Darfur and disbanded several national groups, with direct disregard for the needs of the displaced populations they were serving. Despite his indictment, President Bashir remains in office and travels abroad with impunity, as do other Sudanese leaders charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.