With Sudan and South Sudan already effectively at war, reports indicate that each are arming rebel movements in the other’s territory. Last week the South Sudanese military—officially the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)—took the oil-producing enclave of Heglig from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), ostensibly in retaliation for SAF raids across the border. Sudan’s President Omar Bashir on April 20 threatened to teach the South “a final lesson by force” if it doesn’t withdraw from the enclave. (LAT, April 20) Amid the stand-off, the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey released a report finding that the SPLA is arming the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLMN), which is fighting to liberate South Kordofan state—where Heglig is located—from Khartoum’s control. The report similarly charged that the SAF is arming the South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM) and South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), which are fighting the SPLA in South Sudan’s Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states. (See map.) The report also found evidence that Eritrea is cooperating with Khartoum in arming the SSDM and SSLA. The Small Arms Survey’s Jonah Leff told Sudan Tribune that the support of rebels on both sides is “a symptom of the greater issue, which is oil and land.” (ST, April 17 via AllAfrica)
See our last post on the struggle for Sudan.