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The Scoop
July 11, 2011

Ominous Signs for Newly-Independent Southern Sudan

Julia Pettengill

On Saturday, thousands of Southern Sudanese gathered to celebrate their independence, after decades of incessant civil war. Yet the future may yet yield renewed conflict, as Sudanese president Omar Bashir has declared that the disputed Abyei region may provoke further violence between North and South.

With reports of renewed rebel activities in the North, it seems likely that President Bashir is now attempting to reassert his authority in North Sudan in an attempt to isolate his enemies in that region. Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the ICC, is hardly a trustworthy actor, as evidenced by reports of renewed, ‘Darfur-style’ violence in South Kordofan last month, on the northern side of the new border.

It is clear that going forward, the international community must stand against a renewal of the kind of state-sponsored violence against civilians which has characterized Bashir’s bloody reign, and work with the new government of South Sudan to ensure the responsibility to protect civilians is respected.

Julia Pettengill

About Julia Pettengill

Julia Pettengill is author of "A Guilt Beyond Crime: The Future of Genocide Prevention in the Anglo-American Sphere", published by the Henry Jackson Society in 2009, and cited in the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission's 2010 report “Those Who Bear the Greatest Responsibility.” Pettengill holds an MA in Modern History from the University of St Andrews, and worked as a writer and researcher prior to joining HJS as a Research Fellow in May 2011.

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