Entries in Khartoum (2)


Sudan Escalating Military Action Against South Sudan

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KHARTOUM) -- New satellite images suggest that the Sudanese government is expanding its military presence in the southern region of Sudan near the border with South Sudan.

The watchdog group Satellite Sentinel Project in partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, says that the images demonstrate that the Sudan Armed Forces are “rapidly working to enhance air strike and air assault capacity in two airbases recently captured from rebels in Sudan’s Blue Nile border area.”

These new images, released Friday, come after the Sudan Armed Forces bombed the town of Yida in South Sudan on Thursday in addition to another bombing near the South Sudan border earlier in the week.

Yida hosts more than 20,000 refugees who have fled from the ongoing conflict in the southern region of Sudan where rebel forces and the Sudan Armed forces have been fighting since June.

The White House condemned Thursday’s bombing in a statement, calling the bombing an “outrageous act” and saying “those responsible must be held accountable for their actions.”

“The United States demands the Government of Sudan halt aerial bombardments immediately,” the White House statement goes on to state. “We urge the Government of South Sudan to exercise restraint in responding to this provocation to prevent further escalation of hostilities.”

A spokesman for the Sudan Armed Forces denies that the Sudan has bombed anywhere in South Sudan.

“South Sudan is a state in the United Nations. We respect international law, and it’s impossible that we would do that,” the spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid is quoted as saying to Reuters.

South Sudan obtained independence from Sudan in July, after several years of peace talks and a referendum vote in which the people of South Sudan voted in favor of independence from the Sudanese government based in Khartoum.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


South Sudan: Amid Violence, a New Nation Is Born

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KHARTOUM) -- The Republic of South Sudan is entering the world as its 193rd nation with an overjoyed population that views this moment of freedom as decades in the making.

Officials from all over the globe are taking part in the celebrations Saturday. Even the Vatican has sent a representative. The United States has also sent a high-profile delegation led by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Colin Powell.

South Sudan has gained its independence just six years after ending a bloody civil war with the north that killed more than two million people.

The United States has been involved in the Sudanese peace process for many years. In 2005, George Bush sent Powell, then the U.S. secretary of state, to the region to broker a comprehensive peace agreement that would end the 20-year conflict and begin the road to independence for the south. In the years since, two U.S. administrations have worked to make sure the independence referendum was held without a hitch, appointing special envoys to the region and being intimately involved in the delicate negotiations that followed.

But after the party is over, real questions remain about just how viable this new country will be. Decades of war have left the region as one of the world's poorest. Roughly the size of Texas, South Sudan has less than 100 miles of paved roads, and basic infrastructure such as electricity and water are scarce. It also has an illiteracy rate of more than 70 percent and one of the highest infant mortality rates in Africa.

Since the referendum in January, the young nation has also been dealing with thousands of returnees from the north and abroad without the resources to support them.

For all the bleak indicators, the people of South Sudan, who voted almost unanimously for independence, remain hopeful. They say that even with all of the problems, freedom from Khartoum's repressive regime now gives South Sudan the chance to determine it's own destiny. A right it hasn't had for more than 50 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio