Following the recent escalation of tensions in Sudan the United Nations have led investigations into the clashes in order to calm the uncertainty during the lead up to South Sudan’s independence in July. Officials have estimated that the recent violence led to 100 people killed. Despite the casualties it appears the threat of renewed war since the disturbances in Abeyi in previous weeks seems to have been somewhat quelled for the time being.
However, the number of displaced persons affected by the tensions still remains considerable. A United Nations humanitarian official in the south, Lise Grande has stipulated that prominent problems still exist with “Ninety-six thousand standing as the number of displaced we can account for, but with many fleeing into the bush the number may be even higher.” The UN has gone further with estimates calculating the numbers coming voluntarily from the North and other countries to exceed 300,000.
Concerns that the south risks becoming a failed state following succession exist if the south is unable to bring its humanitarian situation and internal security under control. With tribes turning on each other, fighting over cattle with a growing youth population feeling the pressure for cows to provide dowries and raids becoming more frequent.
The exact position of the border has added to those concerns, the demarcation of a remaining 20 per cent of the 2,100 km border between the North and South and the distribution of oil revenues continue to have an effect on disputes over the Abeyi region and add to the volatility of the region.
By Jolene Plocka