Describing events through 9 April 2015
The past two months have seen an intensification of the conflict in Unity state, despite frequent attestations by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) that their forces are adhering to the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement that they signed in Addis Ababa on 23 January 2014. In February and March 2015, most of the clashes were concentrated in Mayom county and to the south and east of Bentiu, the state capital. These clashes are intermittent altercations rather than the result of a concerted military push by either side. Thus far in 2015, no territory has changed hands. The SPLA maintains control of the northern and western counties of Pariang and Abiemnom, as well as of Bentiu. The SPLA-IO controls Unity’s southern counties, and much of Guit and Rubkona. Mayom, a strategically important county that contains the road from Warrap state—along which SPLA reinforcements could travel—is largely under the control of government forces. The situation could soon change. The end of March saw heavy fighting around Bentiu, and there are strong indications that the conflict in Unity will intensify in the coming months.