The situation in Abyei has developed into a tense standoff. The North’s ultimatum that southern forces withdraw from disputed regions by June 1 has passed, and thousands of Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers remain above border between northern and southern Sudan. Predictably, Khartoum’s May 21 seizure of Abyei has also created a dire humanitarian situation. Preliminary figures indicate that at least 116 civilians have died during the conflict, and that number is likely to grow. More than forty-five thousand Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have registered with the UN, with some reports indicating an additional thirty-five thousand people have yet to reach Warrap State. Poor weather due to seasonal rains has also slowed aid to the region.
Earlier this week, I analyzed Abyei’s seizure in an CFR Expert Brief, “Why Sudan’s Peace Is in Jeopardy.” The report, which includes a CFR video on the situation in Sudan, is available here.