In 2005, Africa's longest running civil war came to an end, but 22 years of violence have ripped Sudan apart with 2 million people killed and another 4 million displaced.
And now, just 48 days before South Sudan is due to secede from the north it looks like the country could, once again, be on the brink of war.
The conflict now is focused on the town of Abyei. The North Sudanese army has taken control of the town after days of fighing against southern forces. Khartoum accuses the south of attacking one of its convoys escorted by UN troops on Thursday, killing 22 northern soldiers. Both sides have recently deployed forces in and around Abyei, but this is in breach of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Western officials say the escalation has the potential of igniting all out civil war.
Just what is really behind the latest escalation and will this turn into another protracted civil war?
Inside Story, with presenter Jane Dutton, discusses with Rabie Abdul Atti, member of the NCP and advisor to Sudan's information minister; Eddie Thomas, author of Against a gathering; securing Sudan's comprehensive peace agreement; and Barnaba Benjamin, minister of information for the government of Southern Sudan.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, May 22, 2011.