Imagine if Vice President Joe Biden owned a home in Mexico. Then imagine that home being raided in the middle of the night while members of his family were staying there. An equivalent situation has just transpired in the Sudan.
Sudan is essentially broken up into three regions. Sudan (Northern Sudan) is ruled by Omar al-Bashir; he is the Muslim Brotherhood’s guy. The Capital of Sudan is Khartoum. Darfur is to the west and consists of a lot of black and secularist Muslims. South Sudan recently won its independence from Sudan and power was reluctantly handed over by Bashir last July; Juba is the Capital of South Sudan. Salva Kiir is the duly elected president of South Sudan and is a devout Christian.
The vice president of South Sudan is a man named Riek Machar – also a Christian, according to the Sudan Tribune. Machar has a home in Khartoum. That home was raided this weekend by Sudanese forces according to the Sudan Tribune.
Via the ST:
Sudan’s security services in Khartoum have raided the house of the South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar, arresting people and looting its movable assets, Juba has claimed.
James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s press secretary, told Sudan Tribune that the raid occurred at 3am on Sunday morning. Five students who are relatives to the Vice President and resided in the house in Khartoum were arrested by the security personnel.
Juba also claimed that a young girl found in the house was intentionally mishandled by the Sudanese security. The girl called Ayom is believed to be from the Dinka tribe and not related to the Vice President and was staying at Machar’s house while trying to get her school certificates in Khartoum. Her age is unknown.
Her whereabouts and those his relative was also unclear on Sunday evening. The security personnel also looted the vehicles at the residence including refrigerators in the house.
It was not clear why the house was raided. The office of the South Sudan’s Vice President called on Sudan’s government to respect human rights of individuals and urged for their release.
South Sudan’s Minister for Information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said that Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services “came to the house Dr. Riek Machar in Khartoum and took away everything.”
As well as taking furniture and cars they also “took a young boy of about 15 years who was seriously sick. He had just been operated. It was open heart operation”, Marial said.
He described Khartoum’s actions as internationally “unacceptable and unjustifiable”.
However, the minister called on South Sudanese authorities not to replicate the same behavior even though Khartoum is mistreating South Sudanese nationals in Khartoum.
Did you catch that? South Sudan’s leaders are calling for restraint, which goes a long way in determining which side wants to provoke the other. The battle over oil in the region has also escalated tensions. 80% of the reserves are located in South Sudan but until an oil pipeline can be built from Juba to the Port of Mombasa, the only way for South Sudan to export the oil currently is through the north, to the Port of Sudan.
The problem with that is that Sudan is reportedly stealing much of the oil before it gets there. Consequently, the spigots have been turned off and tensions have risen.