Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile

The Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile is an armed conflict in the Sudanese southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile between the Sudanese Army (SAF) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), a northern affiliate of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South Sudan. After some years of relative calm following the 2005 agreement which ended the second Sudanese civil war between the Sudanese government and SPLM rebels, fighting broke out again in the lead-up to South Sudan independence on 9 July 2011, starting in South Kordofan on 5 June and spreading to the neighboring Blue Nile state in September. SPLM-N, splitting from newly independent SPLM, took up arms against the inclusion of the two southern states in Sudan with no popular consultation and against the lack of democratic elections.[17] The conflict is intertwined with the War in Darfur, since in November 2011 SPLM-N established a loose alliance with Darfuri rebels, called Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).[18]

Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile
Part of the Sudanese Civil Wars

Military situation in Sudan on 6 June 2016.
  Under control of the Sudanese Government and allies
  Under control of the Sudan Revolutionary Front and allies
For a more detailed map of the current military situation in Sudan, see here.
Date5 June 2011 (2011-06-05) – present
(10 years, 3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days)
Location
Status

Inconclusive

  • Comprehensive peace agreement signed between rebel groups and the transitional government
Belligerents

 Sudan

SRF

Alleged support:
 South Sudan[citation needed]
 Ethiopia[3]
Commanders and leaders
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
Omar al-Bashir (until April 2019)[4]
Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein (until April 2019)[5]
Mustafa Osman Obeid Salim (until 2015)
Ibrahim Balandiya 
Abdelaziz al-Hilu
Gibril Ibrahim
Khalil Ibrahim 
Malik Agar
Yasir Arman
Minni Minnawi
Abdul Wahid al Nur
Mohamed Rahouma [6]
Units involved

Sudanese Armed Forces

SLA

SPLM-N

  • South Kordofan faction[9]
  • Blue Nile faction[9]
Strength
SAF:
109,300[note 1]
RSF:
17,500
JEM:
35,000[11]
Casualties and losses

600–650 killed
179 confirmed captured
405 vehicles destroyed
746 vehicles captured[12][better source needed]

2,530 (2013–2014 in Blue Nile)[13]
704 killed[12]
Total:
c. 643[14]–1,500[15] killed
500,000 displaced[16]
Map of Sudan (after 2011)

As of October 2014, some two million people have been affected by the conflict, with more than 500,000 having been displaced and about 250,000 of them fleeing to South Sudan and Ethiopia.[19][20] In January 2015, fighting intensified as Omar al-Bashir's government tried to regain control of rebel-held territory ahead of April 2015 general elections.[21][22]

With the overthrow of al-Bashir in April 2019 following months of protests, the SRF announced a three-month ceasefire, hoping to facilitate a Sudanese transition to democracy.[23] This led to the beginning of peace negotiations between the rebels and the new interim government. The Sudanese peace process was formalised with the August 2019 Draft Constitutional Declaration, signed by military and civilian representatives during the Sudanese Revolution, that mandates that a peace agreement be made in South Kordofan and Blue Nile (and in Darfur) within the first six months of the 39-month transition period to democratic civilian government.[24][25]

On 31 August 2020, a comprehensive peace agreement was signed in Juba, South Sudan, between the Sudan's transitional government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front. The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu and Sudan Liberation Movement/Army led by Abdul Wahid al Nur refused to sign the agreement.[26]

An agreement was reached between the transitional government and the SPLM-North al-Hilu rebel faction on 3 September 2020 in Addis Ababa to separate religion and state and not discriminate against anyone's ethnicity in order to secure the equal treatment of all citizens of Sudan. The declaration of principles stated that “Sudan is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. Full recognition and accommodation of these diversities must be affirmed. (...) The state shall not establish an official religion. No citizen shall be discriminated against based on their religion.”[27]