Sudan. According to
countryaah, the division of the country continued to
characterize political and economic development. Trouble
ensued over transit fees on oil that South Sudan exports
through Sudan. South Sudan accused Sudan of stealing oil and
shut down its oil production in January. Sudan claimed that
the neighbor did not pay fees. With the divide, Sudan lost
three quarters of its oil production. Transit fees were
therefore an important source of income for Khartoum.
Border battles broke out shortly after the countries
signed a non-assault pact in February. Struggles occurred in
the southern Sudanese border town of Jau and Sudan was
accused of bombing oil fields in South Sudan. Khartoum
claimed it was a response to South Sudan's shooting of the
oil-rich Heglig area in the state of South Kurdufan.
The conflict led President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to
cancel a visit to South Sudan at the end of March. Shortly
thereafter, South Sudan Heglig, which accounts for half of
Sudan's oil production. After international pressure, South
Sudan withdrew while Sudan claimed to have driven out the
The UN Security Council called for a cease-fire on May 2
and the parties would resolve their contradictions within
three months, otherwise they risked sanctions. Sudan resumed
oil exports from Heglig while South Sudan withdrew troops
from the border.
In June, the government adopted a tight budget including
significantly reduced fuel and food subsidies. This
triggered protests that were brutally turned down, which was
criticized by human rights groups. The president reformed
the government in July and reduced the number of deputy
ministers to save money. Inflation in October was about 45%.
President al-Bashir met with the President of South Sudan
in July. The meeting in Ethiopia was their first since the
fighting broke out. Negotiations continued via mediators.
The countries agreed on August 4 on oil transit fees, two
days after the UN deadline.
The countries continued, without real success, to
negotiate the stretch of a demilitarized border zone. With
the demilitarization, South Sudan could not support rebel
movements such as the SPLM-North (Sudanese people's
liberation movement) in southern Sudan, Khartoum considered.
A cooperation agreement was concluded at the end of
September, but SPLM-North promised to continue its fight and
claimed in November that a government plan was shot down.
However, the September agreement was not implemented, but
a meeting between al-Bashir and South Sudan's president was
planned in early 2013.
The dispute over the border area Abyei also remained
unresolved. The oil-rich area had been provisionally placed
in the north prior to the division. The countries remained
in disagreement over who would take part in a referendum to
determine its status. In May, Sudan withdrew forces from the
area, which are guarded by peacekeeping Ethiopian forces. In
a televised speech in November, the president promised that
Abyei would remain part of Sudan. The speech was held in
Saudi Arabia where he had undergone a "minor operation".
Concerns also occurred in the Darfur region in the west.
In fighting with the Sudanese army, more than 50 members of
the JEM rebel group (the Justice and Equality Movement) were
killed in July. The UN peacekeeping force UNAMID warned of
the escalation of violence. The International Criminal Court
(ICC) in The Hague called on Defense Minister Abdelrahim
Muhammad Hussein as a suspect for war crimes and other
crimes in Darfur during 2003–04 when he was Minister of the
Interior. Al-Bashir is also wanted by the ICC, but he
nevertheless visited among other things. Egypt during the
year. However, the African Union (AU) decided to move a
planned summit from Malawi to the AU headquarters in
Ethiopia when Malawi did not want to invite al-Bashir.
Several Western embassies in Khartoum, including Germany,
were attacked in September in connection with protests in
the Muslim world against a controversial film that was
believed to slander Prophet Muhammad.
An explosion destroyed an arms factory on the outskirts
of Khartoum in October. Sudan accused Israel of the air
strike, which claimed two lives. Israel has not commented on