Internal and Border Issues Cause Strife for Sudan, South Sudan

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Sudan and South Sudan met over the weekend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to hash out differences regarding oil revenue sharing and border security, as reported by Reuters.

However, security remains a serious concern along both borders, and each country has internal concerns of its own, such as the ongoing conflict in Sudan's Darfur region.

Starvation increasing on the border

The United Nations has warned that residents in southern Sudanese states including Blue Nile and South Kordofan are starving to death or living on roots and leaves, another Reuters article reports.

The areas are bordering South Sudan, and have seen violence between the military rebels known as the SPLM-North. The rebels claim they are protecting local ethnic minorities while the government considers them a proxy military force sent from rival South Sudan to cause problems.

U.N. representative warns of further violence in Darfur

The United Nations News Center reported on Wednesday that Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator of UNAMID Aïchatou Mindaoudo had expressed concern over reported fighting in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur, western Sudan.

Approximately 850 families had been displaced in Central Darfur, forced to flee to the town of Nertiti from Golo and Rockero, west of the mountainous Jebel Marra region, according to a press release from UNAMID. The Governor of Central Darfur, Dr. Yousif Tibin, told the visiting Mindaoudou that fighting broke out when armed groups seized the two towns.

Clashes heat up over gold mine in Darfur

Saturday, fighting broke out between two tribes over gold mining rights in North Darfur, according to another article by Reuters.

The Rizeigat and Bani Hussein tribes clashed over a mine near Kabkabiya, resulting in several deaths. Authorities have been forced to close the mine.

Both groups are Arab tribes, and rights groups claim the government is responsible due to their practice of arming Arab tribes to stop the Darfur rebellion in 2003.

United States welcomes recent meeting

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, issued a statement after the United Nations Security Council held consultations regarding the Sudan and South Sudan tensions, saying that the recent meeting was welcome in the view of the United States, but warned that "the parties must now finally move from rhetoric to action­ by clearly implementing the agreements reached in Addis Ababa without further delay."

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.

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