John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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ICG Civil War Concerns in Sudan

by John Campbell
October 3, 2011

Internally-displaced people flee after heavy gunfire broke out in Damazin in the Blue Nile state September 7, 2011. (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Courtesy Reuters)

The International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned of escalating civil war in Sudan as fighting between opposition and Khartoum forces continues to spread beyond the disputed territory of Abyei into the states of South Kordofan and now Blue Nile on the Ethiopian border. The first is territory disputed by South Sudan and Khartoum. The latter two remained in Sudan following the secession, but contain armed opposition groups formerly allied with Juba.

South Sudan’s secession has played a role in the escalating conflict. As the ICG notes, parts of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) were never addressed, including the integration of the armed factions of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), which formally split from the Juba-based SPLM on September 8. Perhaps more notably, the ICG argues that the South’s successful succession weakened Bashir’s control over the National Congress Party, allowing hardliners to execute a “soft-coup” within the NCP. They prefer the “military option” as opposed to Bashir’s negotiations.

Analysts at the ICG suggest that fighting in Sudan’s center constitutes civil war and fear that the various opposition groups fighting Khartoum may be coalescing. This in turn could “trigger a wider civil war for control of the country.”

Read the report here.

H/T to Asch Harwood

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