Civilian populations throughout 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 citizens of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence. On July 9, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan was born.
Despite being independent countries, 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 civil war between the government of Sudan and rebels from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement—North has resulted in a humanitarian crisis in the border areas between Sudan and South Sudan and 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. Humanitarian groups reported on the dangers of widespread famine due to the government of Sudan blocking aid from reaching people in the mountains.
In South Sudan, intercommunal violence continues to be widespread due to a range of issues including political conflicts, the availability of weapons, ethnic tensions among armed groups, corruption and limited economic opportunities. South Sudan faces the ongoing challenge of creating a democratic system of governance in a region with little history of and few models for such practices. A political crisis that began in December 2013 has erupted into a large-scale civil conflict that has taken on an ethnic cast, as Dinka militias and supporters of the president, Salva Kiir, battle Nuer forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar for control of key cities and towns. Citizens are being targeted on the basis of their ethnic identity, and some one million civilians have been displaced as of May 2014.
Large segments of the Darfuri 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. 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 these lands cleared of their former inhabitants.
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. Since then, President Bashir has also been charged with genocide. Despite his indictment, he remains in office and travels abroad with impunity, as do other Sudanese leaders charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.