Monday, April 15, 2013

New Report Says Sudan is Supporting South Sudanese Rebels

A new report by the Small Arms Survey, an independent Swiss research group alleges that the Sudanese government has, "supplied weapons and ammunition to the [Yau Yau] rebels fighting neighboring South Sudan's government" (Doki; Time). The group released this report on Monday, a mere three days before a Sudan-South Sudan committee is set to meet to discuss rebel activity in both countries. The Yau Yau rebels began after David Yau Yau did not win a seat in the 2010 South Sudanese parliamentary elections, leading him to cry fraud and rebel against Juba.

The governments of Sudan and South Sudan have recently reached an agreement for shipping South Sudanese oil to international markets through Sudanese pipelines. Although this agreement has already been negotiated, continued instability in South Sudan would benefit Omar al-Bashir's regime by halting the South Sudanese's plans to build an oil pipeline through Ethiopia.

Current Pipeline through Sudan

President al-Bashir's behavior is done in the interest of keeping control over the oil revenue that he uses to bribe the right people in order to keep his power over the country since his is an autocrat and is therefore not directly accountable to the people. Ross (2011) states that controlling oil revenue helps autocrats stay in power by: 1) giving them the power to buy off citizens with benefits that require no taxation, 2) making it easier to keep the country's finances secret, and 3) allowing the regime to buy the military's support. Diverting South Sudan's oil through Ethiopia would cause the al-Bashir regime a financial crisis of sorts, leaving them less able to bribe the military and other key elites in exchange for their loyalty. Supplying guns and ammunition to the South Sudanese rebels with the intent of increasing instability within the newly formed country is a very strategic political tactic aimed at ensuring the al-Bashir regime continued dominance and control over the Sudan by distributing rents from oil revenues.
al-Bashir at a Military Demonstration

If any lasting change is going to be made in these upcoming negotiations, the South Sudanese government will have to recognize the essential role that the pipeline plays in Sudanese politics and address the al-Bashir regime directly about its role. In the meantime, the South Sudanese government should strive to grow their domestic civil industry in order to help prevent them from falling into the same resource trap from oil that the al-Bashir regime currently finds itself (Ross; 2011).


Doki, Charlton. "Report: Sudan Is Supporting Rebels in South Sudan." Sudan Is Supporting Rebels in South Sudan. Time, 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.

Ross, Michael L. "Will Oil Drown the Arab Spring? Democracy and the Resource Curse." Council on Foreign Affairs 90.5 (2011): n. pag. Print.

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