Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council has ordered the closure of the country’s borders with the Central African Republic and Libya, citing security concerns. The border closure has been gradually implemented in the last three weeks, reported VOA News.
The ruling transitional council’s order to close the borders follows a September clash between rival militias in Birau, Central African Republic, that killed around 23 people.
According to the council members, several reports suggested that militiamen were sneaking into Sudan on their way to join other militias in Libya. Notably, Sudan is located on a widely-used migration route that links east and central Africa with the Mediterranean and Europe.
After the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir, the European Union suspended funds for migration control that allowed a greater number of migrants to enter the country. It remains to be seen whether the border closures will slow the flow of migrants in Sudan.
In related news, the negotiation talks between Sudan’s transitional government and rebel groups in Juba was put on hold after a key rebel grouping refused to negotiate with Khartoum, claiming government forces’ attacks on its territory.
On Wednesday, Amar Amoua, SPLM-North’s Secretary General and spokesperson for the group, said the attack shows the Sudanese government’s failure to respect the cessation of hostilities agreement the parties inked last month.
The rebel group’s leader said his group will not take part in any peace talks until there is a full investigation into the attack. He claimed that the Sudanese government forces bombarded several areas of the Nuba Mountains for the last 10 days.
Amoua announced that SPLM-North won’t return to the negotiation table until their demands are met.
The Sudanese government has rejected the accusations, blaming the cattle herders in the area for the attack. The ruling council has indicated military leaders were not involved in the attack.