Residents in Sudan’s capital Khartoum said they were trapped in their homes with dwindling supplies of food, water and energy, as violent clashes between supporters of two rival generals escalated further.
As the first outside journalists to access the last rebel stronghold in Jebel Marra in five years, we found that millions are still trapped in vast makeshift camps, and the area is awash in guns.
Analysts and diplomats say the Sudanese government opposes a unified Darfur, concerned that this would give the rebels there a platform to push for independence — just as the south successfully did in 2011.
Relations between the two East African countries have been weak since South Sudan seceded in 2011, but the border opening is just the latest step towards improved ties.
The presence of soldiers from Sudan and Eritrea in Yemen means the US could be backing a side that includes fighters from at least one nation that it has repeatedly criticized for committing atrocities.
The 71-year-old head of state who has been in power since 1989 won re-election with nearly 95 percent of the vote amid low voter turnout and an opposition boycott.
Though not alone in its lack of human rights reporting, the UNAMID mission has a longstanding status as one of the UN's most opaque and troubled operations.
The weather in South Sudan has dictated the intensity of fighting, and battles are raging now that the rainy season has ended.
The decision to release Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag comes after intense international pressure over the sentencing.