Sudan declared a state of emergency on April 29 for areas bordering South Sudan. Tensions are high between the two neighbors along their oil-rich border region, and they are gearing up for war less than one year after South Sudan seceded from Sudan.
The decree gives Sudanese authorities wide powers to make arrests and set up special courts. It was issued a day after Sudan detained three foreigners and a South Sudanese near the border and accused them of spying for South Sudan.
There are concerns that the two nations are preparing for all-out war after weeks of clashes over disputed territory and control of oil resources.
Earlier this month, South Sudanese troops attacked and captured the oil-rich Heglig area. Sudan says it has since recaptured it, while South Sudan says its troops pulled out to avoid an all-out war.
Last week, after South Sudan said it was withdrawing its troops from Heglig, Sudan dropped bombs on the South. The United Nations said the bombs killed 16 civilians.
Sky News has reported that thousands of South Sudanese troops are at the border to meet any assault from Sudan, which officially declared war on April 20.
The largely Catholic South Sudan seceded from Muslim-dominated Sudan last July after a referendum. The referendum was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war. But issues such as the sharing of oil revenues and demarcation of the border remain unresolved and have sparked numerous clashes.
The Trumpet has reported that this conflict is a part of a greater clash between Muslims and Catholics. For more information about the conflict in Sudan and where it is headed, read “Sudan at War—the Ominous Religious Dimension.” ▪