International Crisis Group (2015). Sudan and South Sudan’s Merging Conflicts
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Armed groups on both sides of the border remained interconnected. At independence, South Sudan’s army still had divisions in Sudan, and Khartoum retained links with southern armed groups. Many southern militias are now part of the armed opposition in South Sudan, while others made deals with Juba before the outbreak of war, and most Sudanese rebels are allied to the Juba government. A history of tangled relationships and competing individual and group interests explain how, within days, the conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan merged and suggest how dangerous it would be to leave them unaddressed.
While this report includes recommendations that relate to both the interconnected wars, its descriptive sections focus on the outbreak of the South Sudan conflict, in particular the fighting season from December 2013 to mid-June 2014, during which the major cross-border alliances were formed. It comes after a series that analysed Sudan’s spreading conflicts, as well as a body of research examining other elements of South Sudan’s civil war.
In less detail, all discussed the conflicts’ cross-border dimensions and issued still relevant recommendations, notably with respect to the peace processes.