Sudan’s military conflict is getting closer to South Sudan and Abyei, UN envoy warns

Nov 6, 2023, 5:46 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The “unprecedented” conflict between Sudan’s army and rival paramilitary force now in its seventh month is getting closer to South Sudan and the disputed Abyei region, the U.N. special envoy for the Horn of Africa warned Monday.

Hanna Serwaa Tetteh pointed to the paramilitary Rapid Support Force’s recent seizures of the airport and oil field in Belila, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) southwest of the capital of Sudan’s West Kordofan State.

She told the U.N. Security Council that the conflict “is profoundly affecting bilateral relations between Sudan and South Sudan, with significant humanitarian, security, economic and political consequences that are a matter of deep concern among the South Sudanese political leadership.”

Sudan was plunged into chaos in mid-April when simmering tensions between the military and the RSF exploded into open warfare in the capital, Khartoum, and other areas across the East African nation.

More than 9,000 people have been killed, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data project, which tracks Sudan’s war. And the fighting has driven over 4.5 million people to flee their homes to other places inside Sudan and more than 1.2 million to seek refuge in neighboring countries, the U.N. says.

Sudan plunged into turmoil after its leading military figure, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, led a coup in October 2021 that upended a short-run democratic transition following three decades of autocratic rule by Omar al-Bashir. Since mid-April, his troops have been fighting the RSF, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

Both sides have been taking part in talks aimed at ending the conflict in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States, since late October. But fighting has continued.

The Security Council meeting focused on the U.N. peacekeeping force in the oil-rich Abyei region, whose status was unresolved after South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011. The region’s majority Ngok Dinka people favor South Sudan, while the Misseriya nomads who come to Abyei to find pasture for their cattle favor Sudan.

With the RSF’s seizures in Belila, Tetteh said, the military confrontation between Sudan’s two sides “is getting closer to the border with Abyei and South Sudan.”

“These military developments are likely to have adverse consequences on Abyei’s social fabric and the already fragile coexistence between the Misseriya and the Ngok Dinka,” she said.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the council that the outbreak of the Sudan conflict “interrupted the encouraging signs of dialogue between the Sudan and South Sudan witnessed earlier in 2023.” He said it had put on hold “the political process with regard to the final status of Abyei and border issues.”

Tetteh echoed Lacroix, saying that “there is no appetite from key Sudanese and South Sudanese leaders to raise the status of Abyei.”

She said representatives of the communities in Abyei are very aware of the conflict’s “adverse consequences” on the resumption of talks on the region and expressed the need to keep the Abyei dispute on the U.N. and African Union agendas.

United States News

Associated Press

New Mexico heavy rain and flash flooding prompt mandatory evacuations

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Heavy rain and flash flood warnings in New Mexico prompted officials to order some mandatory evacuations, with shelters set up for displaced residents. The National Weather Service office announced a flash flood emergency on Friday night through early Saturday. The impacted areas included the city of Las Vegas, New Mexico […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Parts of Washington state parental rights law criticized as a ‘forced outing’ placed on hold

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge has paused parts of a new Washington state parental rights law derided by critics as a “forced outing” measure. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday paused portions of the law while a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups and others is pending, The Seattle Times reported. The […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Ex-CEO of Nevada-based health care company Ontrak convicted of $12.5 million insider trading scheme

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former CEO and chairman of Ontrak, a publicly traded health care company based in Nevada, was found guilty Friday of a multimillion-dollar insider trading scheme. A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Terren Scott Peizer, a resident of Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California, of one count of securities fraud […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Lockheed Martin subsidiaries reach $70 million settlement for claims they overcharged Navy for parts

STRATFORD, Conn. (AP) — Two Lockheed Martin subsidiaries have agreed to pay the federal government $70 million for overcharging the Navy for aircraft parts, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday. The federal agency says Sikorsky Support Services, based in Stratford, Connecticut, and Derco Aerospace, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, knowingly entered into an improper subcontract […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Man accused in killing and kidnappings in Louisiana waives extradition

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A man arrested in the slaying of a Louisiana woman and abduction of her two daughters and subsequent death of one of them waived extradition Friday in federal court in Mississippi, clearing the way for his return to Louisiana to face trial. During his court appearance in Jackson, Daniel Callihan, 36, […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

88-year-old Montana man who was getaway driver in bank robberies sentenced to 2 years in prison

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An 88-year-old Montana man has been sentenced to two years in a federal prison medical facility for being the getaway driver in two bank robberies in Billings last summer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana said. The man was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in February to two counts of bank […]

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Sudan’s military conflict is getting closer to South Sudan and Abyei, UN envoy warns