On November 20, the M23 rebel group seized Goma, a major city in eastern Congo. This new field dispatch discusses the aftermath of the recent siege and urges the international community to push for high-level committement for a sustainable peace process in the region.
“They were shooting everyone. Women, men, children, and the old,” said Omer, a 28-year-old refugee from the town of Maganza in the Sudanese state of Blue Nile.
“I was in the market,” he recalled, selling goods harvested from his farm. “I saw the soldiers coming and shooting and I heard the Antonovs.” Immediately, he ran from the market back home to find his family. But in the chaos, Omer left his three-year-old son. “The war was too much,” he said quietly. “There was not time to look for him.”
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia–On June 28, the latest round of negotiations between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan adjourned after the Sudanese delegation requested leave to conduct political consultations with President Omar al-Bashir and other key political leaders in Khartoum.
With the withdrawal of Sudanese government forces from Abyei town in early June, largescale returns of the estimated 110,000 mostly Ngok Dinka displaced population and the reconstruction of Abyei can finally begin. Since May 2011 when Sudanese government forces violently took over the contested area of Abyei in response to alleged South Sudan army provocation, little progress has been made in the implementation of the June 2011 agreement that was signed to defuse the crisis.
Nearly two years have passed since the governments of Sudan and South Sudan started negotiations on post-secession issues. Today, the two sides remain much as they were in July 2010, when the full negotiation teams first met for an initial exposure session and signed the guiding principles for the process.
While the U.N. declared the famine in Somalia over in February, a third of the country's population still faces a food crisis. The Enough Project reports from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, where famine conditions were the greatest and most persistent.
Enough has recently documented that Sudanese military forces in Blue Nile state have engaged in the killing and raping of civilians, resulting in tens of thousands of refugees and displaced persons fleeing for safety in neighboring Ethiopia and South Sudan, and within Blue Nile. On a trip to a location near Kurmuk in Blue Nile close to the Ethiopian border, Enough Project staff spoke to Blue Nile’s elected governor, Malik Agar, about the current situation and his aspirations for Sudan’s future.
After a trip to the Ethiopian border, Enough Project researchers Amanda Hsiao and Omer Ismail report that Sudanese government forces and militias are killing and raping civilians in Blue Nile state, according to refugees who recently fled the fighting.
Over 70,000 people are estimated to have been displaced in clashes between Sudanese Armed Forces, and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army-North in South Kordafan. Yida village is in the northernmost part of Unity State in South Sudan, around 11km from the border with the north, and is now home to around 10,000 people displaced from South Kordofan, but the displaced may need to move again.