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Developing Humanitarian Crisis for Civilians Displaced as a Result of Fighting in South Kordofan

16.06.11

Fighting in South Kordofan continues to displace tens of thousands of civilians who are facing a severe humanitarian crisis. 

The Government of Sudan has sent thousands of heavily armed troops to South Kordofan together with considerable artillery. The tarmac road between Kadugli and El Obeid is reportedly blocked for civilian movement. As a result, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) reaching El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, has reduced to 1,000 per a day. 

El Obeid already is home to more than an estimated 50,000 IDPs, whilst Er Rahad is currently faced with an influx of 5,000. Those displaced have still thus far not been met with humanitarian assistance.

However, following the perception of the IDPs as a security threat, the local government in North Kordofan announced last night that it will allow for the intervention of NGOs in addition to giving the green light for camps to be established. The government had previously opposed the building of camps as they feared repeating the situation in Darfur.

Currently armed conflict is rampant throughout South Kordofan. There are confirmed reports that there is still heavy fighting in Kadugli, mainly in the neighbourhood of Hagar Al-Nar, and that government forces are continuing to use a combination of Fighter Jets and Antonov transport planes to deliver aerial bombardments focussing on Salara, Deling, Kadugli and Kauda. 

Even those who have managed to flee the conflict are faced with government acts of repression. The National Intelligence and Security Services are arresting any members of the Nuba community in El Obeid, whether IDPs or those who have been residing and working there for years. 80 persons have aready been detained in El Obeid and a number of the Nuba community have been forced to go into hiding. 

There are fears that the wave of arrests will continue and include SPLM members in Northern Sudan. The security forces are using the captured membership registers from SPLM offices as a guide for the arrests.

IDPs are accusing both parties to the conflict of committing grave human rights abuses including ill treatment, torture and arbitrary killing.

The need for humanitarian assistance is growing increasingly urgent and is exacerbated by the heavy rains in South Kordofan and El Obeid.

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