Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/14/2013 -- BMI's Sudan Defence & Security Report for Q4 2012 examines the strategic position of the Republic of Sudan both in the African region and the context of the wider world. It provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and considers the challenges it may face in the future.
The report examines the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The report also looks at the security implications of South Sudanese independence, with the new country having formally split away from Sudan in June 2011. The report's general conclusion is that, while the situation remains extremely fragile, Sudan and South Sudan appear close to striking a peace deal that will enable them to co-exist. Oil has been a key consideration, and the agreement of transit fees for the transportation of South Sudanese oil through Sudan via pipeline was a breakthrough that gives both sides strong economic incentive to remain on good terms.
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The UN Security Council has set a September 22 deadline for the latest round of peace talks that are underway in Addis Ababa. Points of contention remain. One sticking point is the disputed region of Abyei, the scene of fighting between Sudan and the South in March/April. Sudan has proposed dividing the oil-rich area, whereas South Sudan insists that it owns the entire region. The UN and the African Union (AU) are also pushing the idea of establishing a demilitarised zone along the two countries' border, although this too has met with some opposition from both Juba and Khartoum.
Even if Sudan and South Sudan establish peaceful relations, both face severe security challenges both internally and regionally. In South Sudan, a number of rebel groups continue to defy the writ of the new government, with 24 government troops having dies in August during an ambush by Yau Yau rebels. Similarly, in Sudan the JEM militant group remains a significant threat. Both Sudan and South Sudan accuse one another of supporting the rebel groups that confront their respective countries.
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