During our recent visit to Juba’s bustling port , returning South Sudanese told us about their trying journey from the north. Infrequent and hugely expensive transport down the Nile was part of the narrative, as was a shortage of supplies. But we wanted to evaluate these problems first-hand, so my colleague Takawira and I packed up and headed to the border town of Renk. What we saw there was deeply troubling.
Upon our arrival in South Sudan, my colleague, Peter, and I drove to Juba port on the river Nile. There, we were greeted by the sight of two barges that had come arrived from the North eleven days earlier.
This blog entry by South Sudanese musician and former child soldier Emmanuel Jal was originally posted on The Guardian's Poverty Matters blog under the title We must act to stop South Kordofan becoming the next Darfur.
Do you ever feel like you are caught in a bad cycle of déjà vu?
Since June 5th the Nuba people in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state have endured attacks on their homes, executions, arbitrary detention, and – perhaps most terrifying of all – indiscriminate bombing from the air. Roughly 73,000 people have been displaced at the hands of their own government.
In a display that surprises no one, the Government of Sudan is once again mounting a vicious offensive against an ethnic minority inside their own borders.
In just two short days southern Sudan separates from the north. I wasn’t there when they signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, but I suspect that the southern Sudanese in the room imagined this day a little bit differently.
The town of Abyei is once again burning. Nearly six weeks before South Sudan becomes an independent nation, the Sudanese army has blatantly seized this town. In an all too familiar scene, civilians are again the victims of deadly power-grabbing.
I spent a few days in Abyei a couple of months ago. The purpose of the trip was to assess the difficulties encountered by southern Sudanese returning home after years of displacement in the north of the country.
One of the things that we look at regularly on the peacekeeping team is how peacekeeping missions evolve over time. Some of the missions standing today have been in operation for far longer than you might imagine. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) operates from its headquarters in Jerusalem and has been in operation since 1948. Yep, 1948.
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