The fighting between SAF and SPLM-North continues in South Kordofan state according to reports of displaced civilians arriving in Er Rahad situated in North Kordofan.
On July 9th 2011, SPLA troops reportedly launched a military offensive on the SAF garrison that is located in Delami town, after which the SAF declared the Delami area as a military operations zone. As a result the population of Delami town and its surrounding villages were evacuated on July 10th 2011 to Kurtala town 50 Km to the north. Kurtala is roughly 45 Km away from Er Rahad. The evacuees are estimated to number 35,000 persons. They are staying in schools and open fields in Kurtala town. Some 357 of the IDPs from the Delami area managed to find their way to Er Rahad town and the surrounding villages such as Nabalat, Garoud al Masalamia and Sidra.
The IDPs reported that more people are on their way to Er Rahad town coming from Kurtala. The Er Rahad Emergency Committee (a body which is officially formed to assist the displaced) distributed water and food this morning to IDPs from Delami on their way to Khartoum travelling in two buses. The already settled IDPs and the newcomers are in a desperate need of food and other humanitarian assistance. Seven cases of malnourished children, all of them aged under five years, were reported.
The Er Rahad emergency committee complains that they have no resources to provide food. The individuals who used to support this committee are not any more in a position to donate food items or cash. One of the committee members stated that (currently in this town we have more than 4,000 people most of them women and children and they are starving, tragically, we are helpless).
The suffering of the massive number of civilians displaced by the fighting in South Kordofan is a tragedy. The lack of effective response from the international community is a scandal.
SUDO (UK) is calling on the international community to take urgent measures to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to IDPs fleeing the fighting in South Kordofan. We are also calling for all those involved in the conflict to end the targeting of civilians.