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Sunday, 13 March 2011

Sudan: A Divided Country on the Brink


A senior official based in southern Sudan as accused the current Sudanese President Omar al-Bahir of plotting to overthrow the government of the south.

Pagan Amum (pictured above) has said the south's ruling People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has details of a plan by al-Bahir's National Congress Party (NCP). This comes amid an escalation in violence between forces in the north and the south with the most recent skirmish taking place in the oil town Malakal, in the upper Nile. This was carried out by George Athor a leading General of the rebel militia forces.

Additionally Amum has also said that the NCP has been creating, supplying and training armed militia groups in southern Sudan with the aim of overthrowing the government before July.

Southern Sudan is to declare is independence in July following January's referendum. The people of southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly in favour of partitioning the country by 99%.

Sudan's arid northern regions are home mainly to Arabic-speaking Muslims. But in Southern Sudan there is no dominant culture. The Dinkas and the Nuers are the largest of more than 200 ethnic groups, each with its own traditional beliefs and languages. 

Responding to accusations from Amum, an official from the north said that reports of plots to overthrow the government in south were 'ridiculous'. 

General Athor, went into rebellion after losing the election last April and fears are growing that this recent escalation in violence could threaten the south's independence before it has chance to take hold.

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