The folks at the Satellite Sentinel Project have confirmed that North Sudan has burned three villages in Abyei (a disputed border region which is supposed to be jointly controlled by North and South Sudanese forces), is militarily occupying it, and is massing more troops nearby. As Rev. Sam Kobia and Sudan's Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul warned in the January issue of Sojourners, conflict in Abyei and other border regions "could be the sparks causing violence to start again." With less than two months to go before South Sudan's official start as an independent nation, the North's military action threatens the entire peace process started by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South.
And that's not all: According to the anti-genocide Enough campaign, the government in the north has also been stepping up its actions against civilians in the non-independent western region of Darfur:
The Khartoum regime has militarily occupied Abyei, escalated bombing and aid cut-offs in Darfur, and increased support for ethnic militias throughout the South.
Elizabeth Palmberg is an associate editor of Sojourners.