“If I ran for Sudan, I would be betraying my people. I would be dishonoring the two million people who died for our freedom. I want to bring honor to my country. People who just want glory, the spotlight of the Olympics, they don’t care about other people. I’m fighting for independent status because I do care. When I run, I want people to see me and say, ‘He is from South Sudan.’”
- Guor Marial, running under the Independent Olympic Athletes flag in London, 2012
People are arriving in such an emaciated state that our medical staff are struggling to revive them. They have gone too long without food and water. My role as an epidemiologist is to get a handle on how big the emergency is. We measure this through the mortality rate…
Refugees in South Sudan: “We Walked for Six Days … With Nothing But Our Clothes”
“We were on the road for two months. Many villages we went through kept being bombed, so we had to keep fleeing. We had food for two weeks, then we ran out. We ate the lalop fruit and leaves from trees. We gave food for the children mostly, and some days we had nothing to eat. Some people got very sick and we had to leave some by the road—we could not carry them and they were too weak to continue.”
—28-year-old mother of six children
Photo: Refugees fleeing conflict and food insecurity in the Nuba Mountains face insufficient levels of assistance in Yida camp.
South Sudan 2012 © Sally McMillan
In the climate of ongoing tensions between Sudan and South Sudan, I am deeply concerned that armed movements are seeking to destabilise Darfur. I reiterate my call on the armed movements to discard the logic of war and to join the peace process for the sake of the long-suffering people of Darfur.
Reading a statement from South Sudan President Salva Kiir, government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin announced the pullout of South Sudan‘s army — the SPLA — from the Heglig area on Friday.
Called Panthou by South Sudan, the Heglig oil field produces half of Sudan’s oil, and the international community has repeatedly called for South Sudan to withdraw as war rhetoric from Sudan has mounted.
“In conformity with the U.N. Security Council presidential statement, and in response to appeals by world leaders and to create an environment for the resumption of dialogue with Sudan, the Republic of South Sudan announces that SPLA troops have been ordered to withdraw from Panthou-Heglig,” said Benjamin. “An orderly withdrawal will commence immediately and shall be completed within three days.”
But Benjamin said that South Sudan’s pullout did not mean it had given up its claims to Heglig or other contested areas along the oil-rich border that has yet to be defined following southern independence in July.
PHOTO: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, center, waves from the back of a truck during a visit to North Kordofan, Sudan, Thursday, April 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
We will not give them an inch of our country, and whoever extends his hand on Sudan, we will cut it.
I always say we will not take the people of South Sudan back to war, but if we are being aggressed like this we will have to defend ourselves. I am appealing to the citizens of the Republic of Sudan, especially the mothers, not to allow their children to be dragged into a meaningless war.
Kiir told lawmakers to a standing ovation that he had told UN chief Ban Ki-moon in a telephone call Wednesday that “if you are not moving these forces of Bashir out of Abyei, we are going to reconsider our position and we are going to head to Abyei.”
In Khartoum, Bashir said “our brothers in South Sudan have chosen the path of war, implementing plans dictated by foreign parties who supported them during the civil war.
“War is not in the interest of either South Sudan or Sudan but, unfortunately, our brothers in the South are thinking neither of the interests of Sudan or of South Sudan,” he told reporters.
This week’s clashes follow border fighting that erupted last month between the neighbours, and which each side has blamed the other for starting. (source)
Regarding the talks, I don’t think in this situation there will be talks. How can you talk with people who have occupied your land? But now we ask the international community to exert pressure on the government of South Sudan to withdraw its forces immediately from this part of Sudan.
Sudan is accusing South Sudan of launching attacks in Heglig and surrounding areas with the help of local rebels who have been fighting Khartoum since June of last year. The south says it pursued Sudanese troops into Heglig after repulsing an attack Tuesday.
The African Union issued a statement Wednesday urging both sides to respect each other’s territorial integrity. It also called on the south to remove its troops from Heglig.
The AU is trying to mediate bitter disputes between the two Sudans stemming from the south’s independence last year. But the talks in Ethiopia’s capital have made little progress.
What we expect to achieve is the cessation of hostilities. We will stop the fighting that is there, and ensure that this does not erupt into war between the two countries.