Reports of fighting between the two flanks of Sudan are quite unfortunate. The situation is more confusing because they are at loggerheads over an issue that has been legally and politically addressed under the norms of international law.
Not only have their territories been demarcated but also an extensive arrangement reached on natural resources and other backlog issues. Sudan's newly independent Christian south and its Arab Muslim north are basically in a feud of history interwoven in tribal politics, communalism and ethnicity. This is more than enough to reignite civil war and push back the region into the abyss of bloodshed and destruction. Both the zones of Sudan for long have been in a terrible phase of warfare for more than two decades, which had come to derail cooperation and construction across the board. This new flare in fighting in which air force is also being used goes on to suggest that it is now a state-centric battle, and an issue of peace and security of the entire region. The dispossessed and discriminated millions on either sides of the truncated Sudan are, however, in no mood to fight on a war that is not theirs, and virtually is being loaded on them as an issue of real-politick.
The United Nations Security Council is under an obligation to stem this new tide of violence and ensure that both government stick to the Non-Aggression Pact that they signed recently. The issues that are fuelling mistrust such as citizenship, demarcation of frontiers and sharing of oil revenue are part and parcel of any nation that enters into an arena of exercising independence. But the point is that interdependence is too fundamental to be ignored in the realms of sovereignty, and this is where north and south Sudan have to draw a line of sustained interaction. Sudan is in need of diplomacy and statesmanship.