War brewing between the two Sudans
Despite peace treaty border remains source of dispute.
The prospect of war looms large between Sudan and South Sudan. According to latest reports, troops from the newly-independent South Sudan have occupied the Higlig oil region of Sudan.
The South has so far refused to withdraw from the Higlig oilfields.
Both countries are talking openly of the prospect for war.
The two countries split last year after years of civil war that saw acts of genocide and violence perpetrated in civilians. Fueling the civil war are cultural and religious differences, with the people of the North being chiefly Muslim and those of the South, Christian.
Despite the agreement, which grants the South independence, the border between the two sides remains poorly defined. Cross-border disputes have been almost daily occurrences. Loyalists on both sides of the conflict dominate various towns along the border and they frequently cross in both directions to launch attacks on each other.
Currently, South Sudan controls most of the former nation's oil supply, about 75 percent. However, all that oil is exported via pipelines that extend through Sudan. Neither side can agree how to split the oil revenues.
Both sides also reject dual citizenship for those who want it. Sudan has already stated that South Sudanese people will not have either citizenship rights or jobs in the North.
As tension escalates into open violence and civilians are caught in the crossfire, people on both sides are increasingly concerned that an open war will consume the country. Although the two sides have an intense dislike of one another, they are also dependent on each other for economic survival.
And while the politicians may careen towards war, the people who recall the intensity of the previous conflict and the efforts at genocide certainly have little interest in renewed conflict.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Sudan, South Sudan, conflict, war, Heglig, oil, Muslim, Christian, Islam
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