Along with fighting in South Kordofan and the occupation of Abyei, the Blue Nile
conflict is a ‘frontline’ in post-CPA intra-Sudanese military conflict. Of the three,
Blue Nile has received comparatively little attention, despite the state’s strategic
significance. Three-quarters of Nile waters enter Sudan in Blue Nile and the state sits
at the crossroads of Western Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Northern Nile Valley.
Since its eruption in September 2011, fighting in Blue Nile pits the Sudan Armed
Forces (SAF) and its allied militias against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-
North (SPLM-N). The forces that make up the SPLM-N are historically northern but
maintain strong ties to their old comrades in South Sudan.