April 05, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– South Sudan’s northern neighbor, Sudan, which has tried to keep its hands clean despite blames of “playing a dirty game” in the conflict, declared to limit its contacts with the south by closing its borders.
According to members of security apparatus in Khartoum, Sudan was obligated to close its borders for security reasons, particularly to prevent South Sudan’s ethnic violence from escalating to its relatively peaceful cities.
At the beginning of the conflict, Sudan allowed restricted number of displaced South Sudanese, mostly from minority groups, to cross over and set up temporary camps anywhere including Khartoum but of late that trend has changed.
Displaced by hunger and famine, nearly 5, 000 South Sudanese from Warrap and North Bhar el Ghazal states, mostly Dinka, crossed over to Khordofun and tried to walk northward towards Khartoum and other major cities, however, to President Omar Hassan el Bashir the exodus must be stopped.
According to president Bashir, the Dinka, Nuer and Shilluck cannot be mixed in his cities because they will spread their ethnic violence to his nation, a claim that has been witnessed in some parts of East Africa.
The president was quoted to have said that he cannot allowed the dinka to enter Khartoum because the Shilluck and the Nuer, whose people were killed by Salva Kiir government have already entered.
“I cannot allow you to enter Khartoum because Nuer and Shulluk whose fathers, Mothers, sons, and daughters were killed by your government in Juba and Malakal are in Khartoum. Therefore, we don’t want another December 15th, to happen here in Khartoum.” Bashir said.
Insiders believe that the Sudanese president was further alarmed by the act of South Sudan’s former minister of foreign affairs, Marial Benjamin, for “bullying and discriminating his people” of Abyei.
Bashir is believed to have called politicians from Abyei and Salva Kiir which led to dismissal of the minister.
After Sudan refused entry, many South Sudanese from Bhar el Ghazal region, mostly from Northern Bhar el Ghazal, flocked into Darfur and set up temporary camps known as “Malesh Bashir”.
According to Sudan’s Humanitarian bulletin released by the United Nations, more than 5, 000 refugees from South Sudan have been resettled at Malesh Bashir and Khor Omer camps in Eastern Darfur.
This brings the total number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan since December 15, 2013 to 19, 608 according to the UNHCR report.
Juba has tried to protest the unilateral closure of the borders, however, there is little other than having peace in Juba that would change Sudan’s latest attitude towards the Southerners.