The US Foreign Ministry (State Dept.) has announced on its blog that talks between the NCP and the SPLM have broken down. The blog post partly said:
In this sensitive period, it is critical that the NCP and SPLM maintain their dialogue and make further progress toward the creation of sustainable economic, political, and security arrangements between the two parties. To that end, we urge President Bashir and First Vice President Kiir to take steps against alleged actions that destabilize each other’s governments and territories, and to lay the ground for mutual cooperation with the goal of the creation of two viable states in July.
The communique also made note of the rapidly escalating war by proxies (Omar al-Bashir is the king of such tactics in the Great Lakes region):
We also condemn the violence in Malakal, Southern Sudan, on March 12. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) rules out the existence of armed groups outside the two established forces of the parties. Allegations of support to proxies are serious, and should be investigated through established CPA mechanisms and the good offices of UNMIS. The members of the Troika stand ready to assist.
The war between north and south Sudan is almost inevitable. Unresolved border issues in Abyei, Jonglei, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, renegotiation of oil revenues and the south’s internal problems will most certainly result in war in the very near future.
North Sudan must be thinking that given how fast the south is arming (through Kenya) it might be prudent to strike while Juba is still weak (right after independence in July) than wait until the south is strong and has a pipeline through Kenya thus no longer needing the north’s pipelines and refineries. Plus having “lost the south” and facing continued pressure following events in the Middle East and North Africa, Omar al-Bashir could use a little of the tried and tested war of distraction tactic.