Conflict & Justice

Tensions between Sudan's north and south

In the capitol of southern Sudan, there is a lot of activity. Four years ago, there would've barely been a single car on the road because the country was still at war and people stayed home. But things have changed. This man is one of the 1.7 million people who have returned to southern Sudan since the war stopped in the past four years. He says the Sudanese want to move forward. Here in the south, signs of rebirth are everywhere. There's construction on almost every road in this town, and some people from Kenya have even come to find work and investment opportunities. Southern Sudan has come a long way since rebels fought for liberation in the forest. After two decades and two million dead, they finally achieved it with a peace deal in 2005 which gave the south semi-autonomous status. One of the least developed areas in the world is beginning to lift itself off the ground, but many southerners complain the government in northern Khartoum is not fully implementing the peace agreement and some say that would be enough to push them back to war. There are a few key sticking points: the transparent transfer of oil revenues from the north to the south; the demarcation of the north-south border; and the resolution of an oil-rich area. Just last May Sudan came dangerously close to returning to civil war when a firefight erupted between the government and former rebels and caused civilian death and mass exodus. Since then the government has been treading carefully and it's been trying to keep the peace agreement on track, which the U.N. analyst says is important for more than just the north-south resolution, and could be meaningful for Darfur as well.

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