Posts Tagged ‘aerial bombardment’

South Sudan: Rival continues aerial bombardment, attacks amount to war declaration

A policeman walks past the smouldering remains of a market in Rubkona, South Sudan, April 23, 2012. (AP Photo)

(AP) NAIROBI, Kenya – Sudan continued with its aerial bombardment of South Sudan on Tuesday, dropping eight bombs overnight, an official said, as South Sudan’s president said the attacks amounted to a declaration of war by Sudan.

South Sudan’s military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said that Sudanese Antonovs dropped eight bombs overnight between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. in Panakuac, where he said ground fighting had been ongoing since Sunday. Aguer said he has not received information on whether there were casualties from the attack because of poor communications.

On Monday, Sudanese warplanes bombed a market and an oil field in South Sudan, killing at least two people after Sudanese ground forces had reportedly crossed into South Sudan with tanks and artillery.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Tuesday during a visit to Beijing told China’s president that attacks by rival Sudan amount to a declaration of war on his country.

There has yet to be a formal declaration of war by either of the Sudans, and Kiir’s remark, made during talks with President Hu Jintao, signals a ratcheting up of rhetoric between the rival nations which have been teetering on the brink of war.

Kiir arrived in China late Monday for a five-day visit lobbying for economic and diplomatic support. He told Hu the visit comes at a “a very critical moment for the Republic of South Sudan because our neighbor in Khartoum has declared war on the Republic of South Sudan.”

South Sudan broke away from its neighbor and became independent last year. The two countries have been unable to resolve disputes over sharing oil revenue and determining a border. Talks broke down this month after attacks started between the two countries with South Sudan invading the oil-rich border town of Heglig, which Sudan claims it controls.

Following international pressure, South Sudan announced that it has withdrawn all its troops from Heglig but Sudan claimed its troops forced them out.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to press ahead with his military campaign until all southern troops or affiliated forces are chased out of the north.

In a fiery speech to a rally Friday, after he declared the liberation of Heglig, al-Bashir said there will be no negotiations with the “poisonous insects” the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. At the time he also said, he would never allow South Sudanese oil to pass through Sudan “even if they give us half the proceeds.”

Landlocked South Sudan stopped pumping oil through Sudan in January, accusing the government in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, of stealing hundred millions of dollars of oil revenue. Sudan responded by bombing the South’s oil fields.

Earlier this month, South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Chinese and American investors want to build oil refineries in the South in the next six to seven months.

Benjamin said the refineries will help South Sudan process fuel for local consumption. South Sudan will also build a pipeline to the Kenyan coast and another to Djibouti to be able to export its oil, he said. He said both projects were meant to make South Sudan independent of Sudan’s fuel infrastructure and processing plants.

Kiir on Tuesday told Hu that he came to China because of the “great relationship” South Sudan has with China, calling it one of his country’s “economic and strategic partners.”

China’s energy needs make it deeply vested in the future of the two Sudans, and Beijing is uniquely positioned to exert influence in the conflict given its deep trade ties to the resource-rich south and decades-long diplomatic ties with Sudan’s government in the north.

Both have tried to win Beijing’s favor, but China has been careful to cultivate ties with each nation. Like others in the international community, China has repeatedly urged the two sides to return to negotiations.

NPR: The Two Sudans Appear On The Verge Of War


Sudan and South Sudan are careering closer to a full-scale war, with fighting along their ill-defined border and belligerent rhetoric coming from both sides.

The conflict threatens to cripple the fragile economies in both nations, and it could create new burdens on neighboring countries in east and central Africa, a region prone to humanitarian disaster.

In the latest developments, South Sudanese officials say that Sudan’s air force bombed its territory for a second straight day on Tuesday.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, speaking while on a visit to China, said the attacks amounted to a declaration of war.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has rejected any return to peace talks with South Sudan, saying the country’s leaders only understood “the language of the gun.”

The White House condemned the fighting. “Sudan must immediately halt the aerial and artillery bombardment in South Sudan,” President Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One. “Both governments must agree to an immediate, unconditional cessation of hostilities and recommit to negotiations.”

The South Sudanese seized the area earlier this month amid an ongoing dispute over how much the land-locked south should pay Sudan to ship its oil by pipeline to the Red Sea.

The oil is critical to both impoverished states, and the fighting imperils the industry and could put it out of commission for an extended period.

An Incomplete Agareement

The escalating tensions comes less than a year after South Sudan formally gained independence last July as part of an earlier agreement that was supposed to end decades of fighting between northern and southern Sudan. That 2005 agreement, the Comprehensive Peace Accord, has never been fully implemented.

“A lot of the issues were neglected and left unresolved,” says Jennifer Cooke, who heads the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Those critical issues include the exact demarcation of the border, the sharing of oil revenues and the status of two areas, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, which sided with South Sudan during the many years of fighting, but remain as part of Sudan.

Oil revenues account for some 98 percent of income for the south, and a sizable chunk of Sudan’s revenues as well. The escalating dispute has halted the flow of oil since early this year.

Sudan controls the only pipeline that can carry South Sudanese oil to market, but the two sides couldn’t agree on the price that South Sudan should pay for that transport. As a result, South Sudan cut off its oil production.

“Both sides are doing things that defy rationality,” Cooke says. “The two countries need each other, but right now it’s like two people with their hands locked around each others’ throats.”

Positioned For Attacks

John Prendergast, co-founder of the human rights group, the Enough Project, cites recent satellite photos showing that Sudan has stationed warplanes at a base within striking distance of the south.

“Massive air and ground firepower has been concentrated in strategic border points that could only indicate an offensive intention.,” Prendergast says.

Satellite imagery also shows heavy damage to the Heglig oil facility, he adds, enough to stop any production for now.

Both countries stand to suffer.

Prendergast says the treasuries of both countries are nearly depleted, their currencies are losing value, and food and fuel are likely to be in short supply.

Burdens For Neighboring States

More fighting could precipitate a humanitarian crisis, says John Mukum Mbaku, of the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative.

“If this conflict goes on,” he says, “there will be a lot of people killed.”

Mbaku says the fighting is likely to displace refugees to neighboring countries that are ill-equipped to help them. It will also make it difficult and dangerous for aid organizations to provide help for internally displaced people.

A full-scale war between the Sudans would pose serious problems for the region, says Witney Schneidman, a former State Department expert on Africa who now runs an Africa-focused business consulting firm.

“Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are already engaged in a hot conflict,” Schneidman says, “and this would just expand what some people fear – an emergence of an arc of crisis” from Sudan to the Horn of Africa.

“This is an environment where food insecurity is great, where al-Qaida has a presence, and where the gains in economic development could be quite fragile,” he says.

It’s time for “intensifying crisis diplomacy,” says Prendergast. “The two countries with the most influence in the region are China and the United States.”

China’s Involvement

China has invested heavily in Sudan’s oil industry, but without cooperation between the Sudans, that oil cannot flow.

China is a long-time ally of Sudan’s Bashir and has been working to develop ties with South Sudan’s leaders as well.

China’s president, Hu Jintao, signaled the importance of South Sudan by welcoming President Kiir to Beijing at the start of his five-day visit.

China’s state-run media said Hu urged both Sudans to calm down and exercise restraint.

The United Nations is demanding the same. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Sudan’s bombing raids along the border, saying there could be “no military solution.”

Official: Sudan planes drop 8 bombs on South Sudan
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir reviews an honor guard with Chinese President Hu Jintao, unseen, during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan) By Tom Odula
South Sudan needs long-term support to build on fragile gains
The Guardian
Next time someone tells you aid doesn’t work, offer them a trip to the Lora health centre in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria province, where I stood a couple of weeks ago watching the life ebb out of Frezer Wano, a five-year-old boy who had arrived in 
Sudan and South Sudan must step back from war
Reuters AlertNet
Caritas Internationalis fears that a full scale war is imminent between Sudan and South Sudan with dire humanitarian consequences for both unless there is pull back from further military action. South Sudan became independent from Sudan last July 
Sudan jets bomb South Sudan town
Sky News Australia
Sudan jets bomb South Sudan town Updated: 12:49, Tuesday April 24, 2012 Sudanese MiG jets have bombed a major town in South Sudan, increasing the prospects of all-out war. The bombs fell with a whistling sound from two MiG 29 jets and exploded, 
South Sudan Seeks Oil-Sector Help From China
Wall Street Journal
By WAYNE MA BEIJING—China has signaled an interest in a long-term role in South Sudan’s oil sector, and has offered to help build an export pipeline and provide technical help once the crisis with neighboring Sudan eases, a South Sudaneseofficial 
South Sudan: Days Ahead ‘Crucial’ to Avoid War With Sudan
Voice of America
April 24, 2012 South Sudan: Days Ahead ‘Crucial’ to Avoid War With Sudan Gabe Joselow | Nairobi, Kenya South Sudan says it will retaliate against Sudan for what it considers acts of war from its northern neighbor. Sudanese warplanes have continued 

South Sudan president says Sudan has ‘declared war’ after Sudanese jets drop 
Daily Journal
TOM ODULA AP NAIROBI, Kenya — South Sudan’s president said its northern neighbor has “declared war” on the world’s newest nation, just hours after Sudanese jets dropped eight bombs onto South Sudan on Tuesday. President Salva Kiir’s comments, 

South Sudan’s leader says Sudan has declared war
Denver Post
By ALEXA OLESEN AP South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir reviews an honor guard with Chinese President Hu Jintao, unseen, during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. BEIJING—The president of 

White House condemns Sudan air strikes in South Sudan
MSN Money
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – The White House called on Sudan on Tuesday to stop its bombing raids of newly independent South Sudan and said the neighboring countries needed to return to the negotiating table to avoid escalation.

China’s President welcomes South Sudan President
Christian Science Monitor
The Kony 2012 campaign has made Joseph Kony infamous. But for the Ugandan troops hunting him in the jungles of central Africa, finding him remains a mammoth task. What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change.

President of South Sudan says rival Sudan has declared war on his country
Washington Post
BEIJING — President of South Sudan says rival Sudan has declared war on his country. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 Electric Power Availability Dreadful to the Public in Juba [opinion]
Water World
Juba, the capital of Republic of South Sudan is a metropolis rapidly expanding with modern amenities and construction works going up. As a cosmopolitan city there is a big market into which any entrepreneur could tap. For electric power availability to 

South Sudan calls for discipline during Jonglei disarmament
Sudan Tribune
February 27,2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan has called on new nation’s military, the Sudan People’s Liberation Amy (SPLA), to exhibit discipline as it embarks on a potentially volatile disarmament campaign begins in three days time.

Chinese VP hopes for early solution to Sudan-South Sudan dispute
28 (Xinhua) — Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said he hopes Sudan and South Sudan will properly solve their differences “at an early date.” He made the remark while meeting with visiting Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti.

South Sudan seed fair calms food insecurity fears
Sudan Tribune
By Julius N. Uma February 27, 2012 (JUBA) – Lily Asuya Kwaje, a South Sudanese returnee can hardly hide her smile. She is among the 300 beneficiaries of a one-day seed exhibition organized by United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 

They Can’t Wait: Sudan’s Nuba Starved and Bombed
FrontPage Magazine
For almost a year now the Islamist Government of Sudan regime in Khartoum has been conducting an extermination campaign against the black, African Nuba Mountain people of South Kordofan. Aerial bombardment, house to house searches and executions, 
Sudan denies “confiscating” independent South’s oil
By Sui-Lee Wee | BEIJING (Reuters) – Sudan denounced suggestions that it was confiscating oil from South Sudan on Tuesday and indicated that the newly independent South was responsible for stonewalling an oil deal between the two nations.

South Sudan army denies participating in South Kordofan’s attack
Sudan Tribune
February 27,2012, (JUBA)- South Sudan’s army on Monday strongly denied reports alleging that it has participated in the fight involving coalition of Sudanese rebel groups from neighboring Sudan in South Kordofan State. Colonel Phillip Aguer, spokesman 

Sudan asks China to help in oil dispute with South
Sudan’s government has said that it has appealed to diplomatic partner and investor China for help in resolving a protracted dispute over oil revenues with newly independent South Sudan. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti said that during a 
South Sudan Announces Peace Agreement With Insurgent Militia
South Sudan said it signed a peace agreement with a prominent militia group whose leader was killed by government troops in December. The rebel group formerly headed by George Athor pledged to disarm and join the national army, government spokesman 
Sudan rebels claim to have killed 130 soldiers
By IANS, Khartoum : A rebel group in Sudan Tuesday said it has killed 130 Sudanese army soldiers in an attack along the Sudan-South Sudan border, Xinhua reported. “The attack launched by the Revolutionary Front on Buhairat Al-Abiyad resulted in the 
South Sudan Signs Truce With Rebel Group
Wall Street Journal
By NICHOLAS BARIYO And JENNY GROSS The government of South Sudan signed a peace deal with one of the largest rebel groups, the South Sudan Democratic Movement, a South Sudanofficial said Tuesday, in a move that could help stabilize the East African 

South Sudan: Disarmament Jitters in Jonglei State
Juba/Pibor — South Sudan’s plan to start collecting some 20000 weapons from civilians in Jonglei state in March, by force if necessary, is likely to worsen the volatile security situation there and complicate efforts to deliver essential humanitarian 

First Ever Gender Based Violence Training Program in South Sudan
Shalom Life
On Thursday March 2, an IsraAID delegation of Israeli experts will fly to Juba, South Sudan, with the support of a private family foundation and the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and in cooperation with FIRST and the Israel-based NGO Operation 

Sudan has denounced suggestions that it was confiscating oil from South Sudan and indicated that the newly independent South was responsible for stonewalling an oil deal between the two nations. South Sudan became Africa’s newest nation in July under a

South Sudan rebel group lays down arms
By Hereward Holland | JUBA Feb 28 (Reuters) – A major South Sudanese rebel group with alleged links to the northern government in Khartoum has signed an amnesty deal two months after its leader was killed, South Sudan said on Tuesday.

South Sudan rebel group lays down arms
Zee News
Juba: South Sudan has signed a ceasefire with the largest of several rebel groups which threaten the stability of the world’s newest nation, the government said on Tuesday. The deal to integrate an estimated 1800 guerrilla fighters into the South’s 

South Sudan rebels lay down arms
Primedia Broadcasting – Eyewitness News
A major South Sudanese rebel group with alleged links to the northern government in Khartoum has signed an amnesty deal two months after its leader was killed, South Sudan said on Tuesday. George Athor founded the South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM) 

Israel Humanitarian Group IsraAID To Provide Social Work Training in South Sudan
Israel News Agency
On Thursday March 2, an IsraAID humanitarian delegation of Israel experts will fly to Juba, South Sudan. IsraAID will conduct the first ever Gender Based Violence (GBV) training program for social workers in the newest African nation.
Sudan signals possibility of military options against South Sudan
People’s Daily Online
27 (Xinhua) — Sudan on Monday indicated a possibility of using military options against South Sudan in response to what Khartoum terms as “repeated aggressions” by the south on Sudan’s territories. “Sudan maintains military and security options that 
Tel Aviv students fight to stop classmate from being deported to South Sudan
Groups of students from Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium go from class to class, explain United Nations’ position that situation has grown worse since South Sudan declared independence, contrary to Israel’s viewpoint. By Talila Nesher Students at a prominent
At UN, Mbeki Tells ICP Suth Sudan Has One Story on Oil, Khartoum Another
The idea is a holistic and integrated understanding of the Sudan issues.” He might have said Sudans, plural, as the Permanent Representatives of South Sudan as well as the North waited outside during the meeting. The format was called “private 

Dear All,
Please find attached a statement from the last SPLMN Leadership meeting.
Anwar Elhaj
SPLMN Representative to the US

The Tenth Plenary session of the
Leadership of Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement
Important Resolutions on Humanitarian, Political and Organisational Issues and Military Situation
SPLM-N Triumphs in Confronting a Dictatorial, One-Party State:
In the period between May 2011 and February 2012, the leadership of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) held ten meetings despite the state of war in two key states. The latest leadership meeting was held in February 2012. The full text of the resolutions will be announced shortly.
The Tenth Leadership Plenary Session deliberated on the Humanitarian, political, organization and the military situation.
The meeting of the leadership salutes and pays tribute to the thousands of Sudanese civilians whose resolve has not faltered while still facing the government daily aerial bombardment, and the deliberate destruction of their lives and displacement.
We, salute the hundreds of SPLA-N leaders whose will is unbroken, nor has their resistance weakened in face of arbitrary detention, torture, summary trials, abuse and defamation. We bow our heads to the martyrs of resistance both fighters and civilians who sacrificed their lives for the principles and values in which they believed; and above all, to the victims of genocide and war crimes.
We pledge, that we will work for achieving a new society based on upholding the dignity of the individual; and that recognizes the right of others to be ‘others’, and to build a Sudan for all Sudanese, regardless of their cultural, social, gender and political affiliation. A society that will pride itself with its justice, amity and peace – a new Sudan.
The meetings opened-up by reviewing the humanitarian and political situation, and have concluded the following:
After the secession of the South, the leadership of National Congress Party (NCP) decided to issue a death sentence on the SPLM-N, aiming to uproot and obliterate it. They began a political campaign and propaganda onslaught steeped in racism and fascism, utilizing the entire resources of the state: military, security and financial to uproot the SPLM-N and smash it, assisted in this by the silence and connivance from some quarters.
Now, after eight months, and as the dust of political and military battles has settled, and after the NCP have boasted of smashing the SPLM-N’s leadership from mosque pulpits and at Eid’s prayers, and on national media, the SPLM-N has emerged stronger and more battle-hardened opponent despite the high costs that have been paid by its cadres. The NCP fevered campaign have been confronted and repelled and its banners cut down. A battle that was lost politically and militarily. The SPLM-N’s battle for survival, imposed upon it by the NCP, is over. And, the SPLM-N remains to lead and to win.
Here we turn to thank and congratulate SPLM-N and SPLA members; and our friends at home and abroad, and to all the resistance fighters- men and women- who made this possible.
Before the secession of the South the SPLM had initiated a process of disengagement from the predecessor party, by forming an autonomous organization with transitional structures. Several Committees were established- including a committee to draft a Vision and a Manifesto- taking into account the reality of the division of the country into two states and the SPLM into two organizations. We then immediately engaged in the preparations for an inaugural convention. This was not long before the declaration of the Republic of South Sudan. Shortly thereafter, the NCP launched its assault in the Two-Areas followed by a ban on the activities of the SPLM-N and hundreds of its cadres detained, and there are still more than two-hundred cadres incarcerated; and the movement’s assets and the possessions of its cadres were seized and confiscated, and despicable war crimes were committed against its members.
The NCP employed several rules to pressure SPLM-N cadres to do its bidding, and established front organizations to incorporate them. But only a handful of the faint-hearted were enticed. The overwhelming majority of our cadres sided with its official leadership. The state of war also created difficulties for the leadership in carrying out its role. Those events tested our metal, individually and collectively. Some party structures, as well as the military and political institutions survived, but others were stranded and lost. The current political climate has engendered three party entities working in three different ecologies. These are: areas under NCP controlled area, the liberated areas and the SPLM-N membership in the Diaspora. The leadership of the SPLM-N expended every effort to unify all these entities; added to this the complex dual reality of the leadership and cadre engagement in civilianand military struggles. All this necessitates a leadership that would organically combine the dual political and military roles until the time of holding the Inaugural Convention to elect a new leadership.
The prevailing political /military confrontation with the NCP regime have resulted in a real test for the commitment, valor, loyalty, patience and perseverance of members and cadre of the movement This is a fact which will be taken into account as we proceed with the re-organization and assigning new responsibilities in all fronts.
The meeting deliberations began with the assessment of the humanitarian situation and the decisive shift within the international community in agreeing a plan for large scale humanitarian operation and the need to move forward shortly with its implementation. The SPLM-N leadership contacted a number of leading officials in neighboring countries and the special envoys of the president of the United States, the EU and the United Nations from the meeting venue and expressed its readiness to provide immediate access for any humanitarian effort to save hundreds of thousand of displaced citizens in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Concern of the international community with this issue had been galvanized following a successful campaign led by the leadership of the SPLM-N spanning several continents, organizations. There were also solidarity campaigns by Sudanese men and women, and other friends of the Sudanese people and the SPLM-N; and human rights advocacy groups; and US Congressmen and EU Parliamentarians; and senior leaders in neighboring countries in the African continent.
The SPLM-N is filled with gratitude, and offers thanks to all who contributed to this effort, and welcomes the solidarity of all.
In response to new emerging requirements on the ground, the meeting decided to assign the task of the re-organization and oversight of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association to the SPLM-N Deputy Chairman, Abdel-Aziz Adam Elhilo.
Civilian Administration:
The meeting resolved the separation of the Civilian Administration from Military Command in the liberated areas. The SPLM-N Chairman and the SPLM-N Leadership Council will oversee the reorganization and the restructuring of the civilian administration in the liberated areas.
The Organizational Situation:
The meeting also resolved to dissolve all interim organizational structures, except the elected National Liberation Council, and responsibilities assigned to the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the Secretary General.
The Leadership Council will comprise of the following officials:
Malik Agar Eyre, Chairman.
Abdel-Aziz Elhilo, Deputy Chairman.
Yasir Arman, Secretary General.
Jagoda Mukwar Murada, Member.
Ahmed Al-Umdda Baday, Member.
Izzat KuKu Angelo, Member.
Joseph Tikah Ali, Member.
Simon Kalu Koumi, Member.
Yasir Jafaar Ibrahim, Member.
(A Woman Official), Member.
Kuja Tutu Angolu, Member.
Gamar Abdallah Abdel-Rahman, Member.
Seven additional members will be named, in due course, to afford the Leadership Council geographical, gender and cultural balance, as well as the necessary expertise. This will be presented to the first meeting of the Leadership Council.
Political and Organizational Work in Areas Controlled by the Government:
A review of the functioning of leadership in the different states and in the national capital will be undertaken in consultation with the leadership in the regions and the capital, Khartoum.
The National Liberation Council:
Until the date of holding the Inaugural Convention, the National Liberation Council will assume the functions of the legislative organ of the SPLM-N after its restructuring, taking into account the political, technical and normal reasons that may prevent some members from resuming their duties.  A committee of the following named persons has been charged with compiling the list of members of the National Liberation Council and to prepare for its inaugural meeting. They are:
Mamoun Ahmed Al-Amin
Dr. Ahmed Saeed
Walid Hamid
Mohammed Abaker
Zain Al-Abdin Adroub
The National Liberation Council will incorporate new members, should the need arise, in order to achieve the necessary balance and effectiveness in its work.
The Executive Bureau:
The Meeting resolved to establish an Executive Bureau to manage the day-to-day political and organizational duties of the movement under the chairmanship of the Secretary General. The full make-up of the Bureau will be announced in the coming period.
Women will be represented by a ratio of twenty-five per cent (25%), at a minimum in all the organs of the SPLM-N.
The external representation of the SPLM-N will be extended from the current level of eleven (11) offices in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
The Executive Bureau along with the Secretariat of External Relations shall oversee the elections of all SPLM-N chapters in all the countries of the diaspora.
The Chairman of the SPLM-N will oversee the deliberations of the Vision and Programmer Committee, and the process of the adoption of the new manifesto through the relevant institutions of the SPLM-N.
The full list of resolutions of the meeting regarding other important issues, including transparency, accountability and discipline relating to institutional practice, resources and the duties and responsibilities of members, will be promulgated in due course. Similarly, other resolutions of interest to the general public concerning the military situation, and the restructuring of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army as a revolutionary and a national liberation army will be made public.
Yasir Arman
Secretary General
Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement

The international community must stop history repeating itself in South Kordofan, Sudan, where it is estimated that 1.4 million people have been killed or injured by the military, and many live in fear of attacks.

MDG : South Kordofan, Sudan / CChildren take cover in small caves in the Nuba mountains

Children take cover in caves in the hills above Kauda in the Nuba mountains, following repeated aerial bombardment of their towns by Sudanese armed forces. Photograph: Phil Moore

Last month the newest country in the world, the Republic of South Sudan, celebrated independence. But across the border in South Kordofan state people are living on the frontline, trapped in a war zone and deprived of their rights to basic humanitarian aid. As war planes bomb civilian areas and intense fighting continues, many innocent people are living in fear of attack.

I have firsthand experience of the brutality of war, torn from my family as a child and forced to fight during the civil war between the government ofSudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Southern Kordofan state was one of the hardest hit regions in a war that lasted more than 20 years and claimed more than 2 million lives, including my mother’s.

We cannot turn a blind eye and let history repeat itself. UN human rights officials have already warned that acts committed in South Kordofan may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Although exact numbers of people killed and injured remain unconfirmed – as access has been nearly impossible because of insecurity and government restrictions – it is estimated that a total of 1.4 million people have been affected by the conflict. More than 200,000 people have fled their homes, unable to cultivate their land as planting season begins. This puts them doubly at risk, with no means of earning a living or growing their own food. As a result, an estimated 4 million people in Sudan are likely to face high levels of food insecurity over the next few months, during an especially precarious time for large parts of Africa.

Unexploded weapons have been found on the grounds of three schools and land mines are hindering attempts to deliver life-saving aid. Aerial bombings, shooting and shelling continues in what increasingly appears to be a targeted campaign against the Nuba people. Despite their affiliation with the southern rebels during the civil war, the Nuba’s homeland was excluded from the referendum on independence, so it remained in Sudan when the new southern country was formed. South Kordofan was only granted a so-called “popular consultation”, which would allow citizens to make their own choices, but even this has failed to happen.

Marginalising, oppressing and attacking borders has been the approach of the government in Khartoum for decades, and has been a chief reason for the conflicts in Darfur, the south and the east. As the international community continues to search in vain for a solution to the ongoing conflict in Darfur, the same pattern of violence and deprivation is now playing out in Southern Kordofan, with fears that it could become an escalating conflict and even spread to Blue Nile state.

But it is not too late for the international community to stop a humanitarian crisis from happening. Representatives from the governments of Sudan and South Sudan met last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to restart negotiations. They must act now by agreeing on a ceasefire and by allowing aid to reach those who desperately need it.

The international community, through the UN security council, should authorise a robust UN peacekeeping mission with a mandate to protect civilians from further violence. Anything less would be to abandon the Nuba people, and indeed all communities in Southern Kordofan, in their hour of need. The people of Southern Kordofan – and the international community – will have to live with the consequences for years, if not decades, to come.