Abyei. To the rest of the world, this little blip on the map really means nothing, but in Sudan, to means close to everything as it is on the heavily disputed border between the north and the south and also happens to have oil-fields that pump out thousands of barrels of that violence-producing resource. Ya, I wonder why that border is so disputed?!?!
The fighting has gotten bad enough to actually make it into the Washington Post AND New York Times. Schools, NGO compounds, and any other building that were standing last month are now burned to the ground. There are some who think that if fighting is renewed, it will be focused in the states that are along the border which are the disputed area. What makes the whole situation sad, frustrating, etc is that so much progress has been made since the signing of the peace agreement, that a slide back into war would just mean such a loss. Renewed fighting will mean that any 'development' that has happened in that area since the signing of the peace agreement will be lost. Millions of dollars/euros/pounds that have been invested will be demolished.
I find it interesting how just like any Sudanese, even as an expat, you can't help be feel a bit anxious to know the outcome! Anyway, while one friend says 'hope, schmope,' I am still naively of the 'hopeful' clan and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that leaders in both the north and south can come to an agreement to avoid newed fighting.