Peace Talks Fail Between the Sudans
August 6, 2012
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Juba, South Sudan's capital, Friday, expressing U.S. concern over the bitter dispute between Juba and Khartoum (Sudan's capital).
The UN Security Council gave the two countries until August 2 to reach a deal or face sanctions. Matt Parker with Kids Alive International says, "That deadline has now passed; there has been no resolution. The talks have stalled."
The main points of discord involve insecure borders and oil. The refineries are in the South, but the pipelines run to the North. Where there's oil, there's money, and the two countries are fighting over territory and oil rights. "Oil is really the lifeline of both economies. As a result of the conflict, a lot of the oil production has been stopped, and that's having a devastating effect. "
Parker goes on to make note of another matter behind the conflict. "One of the key issues has been citizenship. People who've lived in Sudan all their lives lost their citizenship. They've had to take up South Sudan citizenship, and there's been a question mark over the past few months over what will happen."
July 9 was the one-year anniversary of South Sudan becoming its own nation, yet little else but conflict has welcomed the fledgling state. The uncertainty, fueled by angry disillusionment, has led to protests.
The crisis is exploding as the rainy season descends fully upon this area, and humanitarian resources are overwhelmed. The situation is complicated by Khartoum's continued denial of humanitarian access to rebel-controlled areas within its border.
They're still bombarding some of those areas into submission and, in the process, creating a steady stream of thousands of refugees every day. Non-Government Organizations say those fleeing are driven by desperate hunger, a lack of water, and air attacks. The situation is so fluid that it's hard to get a precise count of refugees, but estimates are around 300,000 in the camps, with up to 4,000 more coming daily.
Things are getting difficult for Kids Alive in Sudan. Parker explains, "Obviously, as a Christian organization, it is increasingly difficult to work in Khartoum because of the Islamic government. But we continue to be committed to that for as long as we're able to be there."
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