Seven months after walking out of ceasefire talks, the Justice Equality Movement (JEM) in Darfur has agreed to resume negotiations. This agreement comes after UN and African Union mediators agreed to address some of the JEM's objections on how the talks were held. The JEM has also asked that Khartoum agree to protect civilians and allow unrestricted access to Darfur for aid groups. For the full story, read the article on AlertNet.
Meanwhile, on December 21, South Sudanese soldiers clashed with a rebel force, leaving 14 dead. Combined with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's recent announcement that if South Sudan secedes, Sudan will become an Islamic state, tensions continue to rise in advance of January's referendum.