The Blue Nile holds the key to Sudan's power: the huge Roseires Dam near Damazin. War threatens this megalith and has ravaged the countryside in the state's south.
Sudan's army is battling the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (North) for control of the state, and to protect the dam and important mechanized agriculture schemes.
During the second Sudanese civil war which ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, parts of the state were controlled by Sudan People's Liberation Army. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). As part of the CPA, in 2011 residents were scheduled to take part in 'popular consultations' to give their voice about the future of the state.
However with hostilities breaking out between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, the consultations was stalled.
In September, fighting began in Blue Nile as the government declared a state of emergency and reportedly bombed the house of Malik Agar, the head of the SPLM-N in Blue Nile and the elected governor of Blue Nile. He was replaced with a new governor appointed by President al Bashir.
A week later the government banned the SPLM-N party and closed down its offices across Sudan, arresting some of its members. The Sudan army quickly took control of the capital Damazin.
Agar was unhurt and fled to the south of the state where he mobilized his troops.