4,000 S. Kordofan displaced arrive in South Sudan

August 21, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

An estimated 4,000 refugees from Sudan’s South Kordofan state have arrived in South Sudan’s Unity State, according to the UN as fighting between Sudan’s military and the opposition group the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) enters its eleventh week.

The border between North and South Sudan became an international one on July 9 as Sudan’s southern region seceded from the rest of the country. This left SPLA fighters from South Kordofan (and Blue Nile state) in a different country from their wartime allies.

The Sudanese government said that the SPLA began the attack on police station in Kadugli and stole its weapons forcing a response from SAF.

However, the SPLA accused the Khartoum-based government of seeking to disarm its members in South Kordofan by force. The NCP declared the situation in the state as an armed mutiny that would be dealt with only in a military manner and not through political dialogue.

A UN report has found that war crimes and crimes against humanity may have been committed against the indigenous Nuba population by SAF and their allied militia the Popular Defense Forces (PDF). Khartoum has dismissed the findings of the UN human rights report.

The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) is conducting registration procedures to calculate the exact number of the estimated 4,000 displaced people who have arrived in the Pariang area of Unity state.

Unity state authorities are reported to be attempting to repair the Bentiu-Pariang road in order to improve humanitarian access to the area.

Around 70,000 people are estimated to have been displaced by the fighting in South Kordofan, which like Unity is rich in oil. Most are thought to have moved north but some, such as those who have entered Unity State, moved southward into newly independent South Sudan.

Earlier this month a joint committee consisting of internationals NGO’s and the Unity State government has agreed to offer immediate permanent settlement to refugees from South Kordofan in Parieng County.

The UN, NGO’s and Unity state government are looking to prepare a new site that is at least 50km from the border to house the refugees.


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