Sudan. Unresolved disputes following Sudan's 2011 split
marked the year. Sudan again accused neighbor South Sudan of
supporting rebel movements. However, the parties continued
the efforts to implement a cooperation agreement on oil,
trade and security issues, adopted in September 2012.
Countryaah, President Omar al-Bashir met his counterpart Salva Kiir
Mayardit from South Sudan several times. The first meeting
was in January in Ethiopia.
African Union mediators, South Africa's former president
Thabo Mbeki, announced in March that they had agreed to
withdraw from disputed border areas and that South Sudan
would resume oil supplies that were halted in early 2012.
Both countries needed revenue. The ice rush appeared to gain
further momentum in April when al-Bashir visited South Sudan
for the first time since the 2011 divide. But mistrust is
deep. Sudan threatened in May and June to stop the oil flow
to punish South Sudan for alleged support for rebel
movements such as the SPLM-North (Sudanese people's
liberation movement) in southern Sudan. South Sudan
dismissed this, but slowed down oil production.
The Sudanese army continued to fight the SPLM-North and
other rebel groups in the southern Kurdufan and Blue Nile
regions. Aid organizations had very difficult access. The
rebels and Sudan met in April during the African Union (AU)
mediation in Ethiopia. The talks, the first in two years,
did not lead to a breakthrough. Another unprofitable round
was held in November. The contradictions also prevented the
UN from conducting a polio vaccination campaign in both
Kiir visited Sudan in September. The leaders agreed to
open border crossings and to resolve outstanding issues.
No breakthrough was reached regarding the status of the
oil-rich border area Abyei, both of which claim. It was
placed to the north before the split. The AU warned in May
that the deadlock was unsustainable. The parties could not
agree on the terms of a referendum. The impatience
contributed to the large group of Dinka conducting an
unofficial vote in October where over 99% wanted to join
South Sudan. It was boycotted by Arab-speaking cattle nomads
from the Misseriya people moving between the countries.
In May, the UN Security Council increased the UNISFA
force by just over a thousand people to just over 5,300
during the year.
The security situation in the Darfur region in the west
deteriorated. At the beginning of the year, up to 500 people
were killed in fighting in an area with large gold deposits.
Government forces are believed to have been involved.
Struggles between rival groups and clans also demanded
hundreds of dead, stated the AU and UN Joint Force, UNAMID.
At a donor meeting in April in Qatar, $ 3.6 billion was
promised for development in Darfur. Nearly 300,000 people
were on the run during the first five months of the year, UN
Humanitarian Affairs Minister Valerie Amos said during a
visit in May.
The violence also affected the UNAMID force. In July,
seven Tanzanian soldiers were killed and 17 wounded. The
government blamed a rebel group affiliated with SPLM-North
for the act.
In newspaper interviews in March, al-Bashir said he would
not run for re-election in 2015. In a televised speech in
April, he announced that political prisoners would be
released. However, human rights groups said that only a few
were released. Protests against his board occurred during
the year, among other things. June 30, on the 24th
anniversary of his entry into power. Security forces
intervened hard and also closed newspapers and other media.
Kravaller broke out in the capital Khartoum and other
cities following the September decision to abolish fuel
subsidies that, according to al-Bashir, reached a "dangerous
level for the economy". Police stations and gas stations
were attacked, as was the ruling National Congress Party
(NCP) office in the city of Omdurman. Security forces killed
at least 200 people during the week-long riots, according to
human rights groups. According to the government, some 60
were killed. At least 700 people were arrested, and foreign
broadcasters' offices were closed. Some 30 reform-minded
members of the NCP criticized the violence and economic
policy. Several were excluded, including a former adviser to
al-Bashir. Several of the excluded later announced that they
intended to form a new party. In December, al-Bashir
reformed the government, the defense and foreign ministers
were among the few who remained. Both vice presidents were
replaced, including veteran Ali Osman Taha. He led
negotiations with the South Sudanese SPLM which led to the
peace agreement and the division of the country.
Severe floods hit the country in August. About 50 people
died while at least 300,000 were affected, aid organizations