Sudan: Negotiators are cautiously optimistic this week as talks between Sudan and South Sudan resume. While the two countries reached an interim agreement on oil revenues last month, Sudan has insisted on reaching a final agreement on border security before oil can flow. The UN Security Council has set a September 22 deadline on final agreements or both sides could face sanctions. The talks are expected to focus on the creation of a demilitarized zone along the border and cessation of alleged support to rebel groups. Meanwhile, a coalition of the world’s most prominent genocide scholars has delivered an open letter to President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Rice and other prominent political leaders. They demand the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid, via airlifts, to the hundreds of thousands of civilians in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states that are still currently trapped by the Sudanese regime’s campaign of government orchestrated starvation, a proposal that the Sudanese government, not surprisingly, rejects.
Congo: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) had Congo’s escalating crisis high on its agenda as it met this week, calling on Rwanda to cease its alleged support to the M23 rebellion in Congo’s North Kivu province. Congolese President Joseph Kabila has asked that the UN Security Council impose sanctions against Rwanda, including against Rwandan President Paul Kagame himself, because of this alleged support. The UK, however, released approximately half of the $25 million this week in government support to Rwanda that it had previously suspended following the UN Group of Experts report that accused Rwanda of supporting the rebellion. UK officials are claiming that Rwanda has acted “constructively” in recent weeks to resolve the crisis in eastern Congo, a move that Human Rights Watch has said was “based on wishful thinking.”