Sudan: Khartoum sponsoring warlords to shift borders before secession?

Clashes between South Sudanese forces and two separate rebel militias have left at least 90 people dead, an SPLA spokesman said March 7. In Jonglei state, the SPLA battled a militia loyal to renegade southern general George Athor, while in neighboring Upper Nile state SPLA troops fought an apparently allied militia under a warlord who was formerly backed by Khartoum, and whose name is rendered variously as Ulony or Oliny. Despite obvious fears that Khartoum is sponsoring rebel militias to take back lands from the SPLA before South Sudan’s formal secession in July, Jonglei governor Kuol Manyang said that the fighting was due to a “long-time dispute” over land between the communities of Ayual and Dacuek. The clashes come despite the an offer to let the militias join the SPLA as part of South Sudan President Salva Kiir’s amnesty to rebel fighters in October. (Middle East Online, BBC News, March 7; Sudan Tribune, March 4)

See our last post on the struggle for Sudan.

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