Sudan. According to
countryaah, Sudan and its president Omar al-Bashir continued
to be involved in a power struggle with the International
Criminal Court (ICC).
Despite an international arrest warrant issued by the ICC
against al-Bashir for suspected war crimes and other crimes
in Darfur, he continued to travel extensively. For example,
he attended a summit of the African Union (AU) in Rwanda.
ICC's Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated in June that she
lacked support to pursue the case.
Sudan, which is affiliated with Saudi Arabia, broke
diplomatic relations with Iran in January. The country has
already contributed soldiers to the coalition that Saudi
Arabia is leading against Iran-backed Shiite rebels in
In January, it was announced that the border with South
Sudan would be opened again. The countries negotiated
without much success on lowering transit fees that Sudan
charges on oil from South Sudan. Overall, the Sudanese
economy showed few signs of clearing. Protests took place in
Khartoum and other cities in November against lower
subsidies on gasoline, which increased the price by 30%.
There was a shortage of various goods, partly as a result of
import restrictions to safeguard the scarce foreign exchange
reserve. Inflation was 19.6% in October. Several newspapers
and a TV station reporting on protests were closed.
The situation in the Darfur region remained worrying. In
March, more than 100,000 people were on the run after
escalated fighting between government forces and the SLMAW
rebel group. Despite this, a referendum on Darfur's status
was held April 11-13. Over 97% voted to retain the five
states that make up the region. The opposition and rebel
groups such as SLM-AW and JEM (the Movement for Justice and
Equality) boycotted the vote. Sudan refuted data from the
human rights group Amnesty International that chemical
weapons were used in Darfur. The UN called on Sudan to
cooperate in an investigation. In June, the UN Security
Council extended the mandate of the AU and UN Joint Force
UNAMID in Darfur, despite Sudan's protests.
Struggles were also fought in the provinces of the Blue
Nile and South Kurdufan against the rebel movement
SPLM-North (Sudanese people's liberation movement). The
government announced a unilateral ceasefire in June and
several rounds of talks were held with SPLM-North without
In March, however, Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi, who
turned 84 years old. As leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, he
was one of the forces behind the 1989 coup that brought
al-Bashir to power. The two broke later, and al-Turabi was
occasionally jailed or in house arrest.