NATIONAL NEWS

Sudan’s military conflict is getting closer to South Sudan and Abyei, UN envoy warns

Nov 6, 2023, 4:46 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The “unprecedented” conflict between Sudan’s army and rival paramilitary force now in its seventh month is getting closer to South Sudan and the disputed Abyei region, the U.N. special envoy for the Horn of Africa warned Monday.

Hanna Serwaa Tetteh pointed to the paramilitary Rapid Support Force’s recent seizures of the airport and oil field in Belila, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) southwest of the capital of Sudan’s West Kordofan State.

She told the U.N. Security Council that the conflict “is profoundly affecting bilateral relations between Sudan and South Sudan, with significant humanitarian, security, economic and political consequences that are a matter of deep concern among the South Sudanese political leadership.”

Sudan was plunged into chaos in mid-April when simmering tensions between the military and the RSF exploded into open warfare in the capital, Khartoum, and other areas across the East African nation.

More than 9,000 people have been killed, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data project, which tracks Sudan’s war. And the fighting has driven over 4.5 million people to flee their homes to other places inside Sudan and more than 1.2 million to seek refuge in neighboring countries, the U.N. says.

Sudan plunged into turmoil after its leading military figure, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, led a coup in October 2021 that upended a short-run democratic transition following three decades of autocratic rule by Omar al-Bashir. Since mid-April, his troops have been fighting the RSF, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

Both sides have been taking part in talks aimed at ending the conflict in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States, since late October. But fighting has continued.

The Security Council meeting focused on the U.N. peacekeeping force in the oil-rich Abyei region, whose status was unresolved after South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011. The region’s majority Ngok Dinka people favor South Sudan, while the Misseriya nomads who come to Abyei to find pasture for their cattle favor Sudan.

With the RSF’s seizures in Belila, Tetteh said, the military confrontation between Sudan’s two sides “is getting closer to the border with Abyei and South Sudan.”

“These military developments are likely to have adverse consequences on Abyei’s social fabric and the already fragile coexistence between the Misseriya and the Ngok Dinka,” she said.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the council that the outbreak of the Sudan conflict “interrupted the encouraging signs of dialogue between the Sudan and South Sudan witnessed earlier in 2023.” He said it had put on hold “the political process with regard to the final status of Abyei and border issues.”

Tetteh echoed Lacroix, saying that “there is no appetite from key Sudanese and South Sudanese leaders to raise the status of Abyei.”

She said representatives of the communities in Abyei are very aware of the conflict’s “adverse consequences” on the resumption of talks on the region and expressed the need to keep the Abyei dispute on the U.N. and African Union agendas.

National News

FILE - A woman fills out a pledge card for the U.S. Census in exchange for a reusable boba tea cart...

Associated Press

Noncitizens are less likely to participate in a census with citizenship question, study says

Adding a citizenship question to the census reduces the participation of people who aren’t U.S. citizens, particularly those from Latin American countries, according to a new research paper that comes as Republicans in Congress are pushing to add such a question to the census form. Noncitizens who pay taxes but are ineligible to have a […]

3 hours ago

FILE - State Election Board member Rick Jeffares asks the crowd to settle down during a hastily pla...

Associated Press

Trump-friendly panel shapes Georgia’s election rules at long, often chaotic meetings

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia State Election Board, which once toiled in relative obscurity, now hosts raucous meetings where public comment spans several hours and attendees regularly heckle its members. The shift highlights how election administration has become increasingly scrutinized and politicized, particularly in Georgia and other states that President Joe Biden flipped for Democrats […]

4 hours ago

FILE - This June 13, 2016 photo shows Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Florida. Thousands ...

Associated Press

Takeaways from AP’s investigation into DEA corruption, agent accused of rape

MIAMI (AP) — Thousands of secret law enforcement documents obtained by The Associated Press offer a never-before-seen window into a culture of corruption among U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents who parlayed the agency’s shadowy money laundering operations into a worldwide pursuit of binge drinking and illicit sex. Among the documents is a recovered WhatsApp chat, […]

4 hours ago

FILE - Reggie Daniels pays his respects a memorial at Robb Elementary School, June 9, 2022, in Uval...

Associated Press

Uvalde school officer charged over actions during Robb Elementary shooting set to appear in court

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — A former Uvalde school police officer who was part of the slow law enforcement response to the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is scheduled to appear in court for the first time Thursday. Adrian Gonzales was one of the nearly 400 law enforcement personnel who responded to the scene […]

4 hours ago

This October 2014 photo obtained by The Associated Press shows then-U.S. Drug Enforcement Administr...

Associated Press

Secret DEA files show agents joked about rape in WhatsApp chat. Then one of them was accused of it.

MIAMI (AP) — In a WhatsApp chat that quickly devolved into depravity, a group of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents boasted about their “world debauchery tour” of “boozing and whoring” on the government’s dime. They swapped lurid images of their latest sexual conquests. And at one point they even joked about “forcible anal rape.” Within […]

4 hours ago

Joe Ridenour sits for a portrait on the steps of the recreational vehicle he once called home in Ca...

Associated Press

Church sues Colorado town to be able to shelter homeless in trailers, work ‘mandated by God’

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) — Behind a church surrounded by rolling prairie on the outskirts of this Colorado town sits a donated RV that Joe Ridenour called home for a year after he lost his job during the pandemic. Being able to live in the RV, he said, allowed him to avoid returning to his […]

5 hours ago

Sudan’s military conflict is getting closer to South Sudan and Abyei, UN envoy warns