The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Wednesday demanding that Sudan and South Sudan immediately stop fighting and conclude negotiations within three months on the issues of citizenship, oil revenue sharing, borders, and the status of Abyei.
The recent conflict between Sudan and South Sudan has seen civilians in border areas subjected to brutal attacks by both sides. However, as I found while in South Sudan last week, the impact of this conflict goes far beyond the disputed areas of Heglig or Abyei, threatening many more lives.
Prior to the most recent round of fighting, millions of Sudanese on both sides of the border were already displaced and vulnerable - from the restive Sudanese states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, to South Sudanese villages emptied by tribal conflicts.
The ongoing conflict between the Sudans affects daily life for everyone here, whether through fuel shortages or price inflation. But beyond the conflict zone itself, few have been more affected than the hundreds of thousands of southern Sudanese returning from the north.
Just as the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) officially gained nationhood six months ago, hundreds of thousands of southern Sudanese were losing their nationality.
While independence was being celebrated in Juba, the government in Khartoum was busy declaring that anyone with family ties to the new country would no longer be Sudanese. They would be stripped of the only nationality they had ever held.
Happy New Year, from all of us at Refugees International! Before we start tackling the challenges of 2012 – and there will be many – we bring you a brief wrap-up of all things RI from the year gone by.
First, "RI in 2011: By the Numbers":
The Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) is a new nation facing many challenges from without and from within. When it comes to violent conflict in the country, most international actors have focused on inter-tribal clashes, or skirmishes between South Sudan and its northern neighbor. But for far too many South Sudanese women, the greatest security threat is in the home.
It’s been 28 years since John Garang’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) rebelled against the Nimeiri regime in Khartoum, igniting Sudan’s horrific second civil war. That conflict claimed at least 2 million lives and crippled the country economically and politically. Indeed, since Sudan’s independence in 1956, its people have known little more than bloodshed and unyielding misery.
RI condemns today's attack on a refugee camp in Unity State, South Sudan. For more on this incident - and what it means for the fragile North-South relationship - we bring you this piece from UN Dispatch featuring RI Senior Advocate Peter Orr.
By Mark Leon Goldberg
Today, leaders from government, civil society, and the UN gathered at the US Institute of Peace to explore statelessness and its impact on women worldwide. The Institute's sparkling new headquarters played host to an insightful and inspiring discussion - a fitting kick-off for a week full of stateless advocacy here at RI.