Thursday, 5 January 2012

Heavy clashes and shelling in South Kordofan

Reports emerged from South Kordofan this week that heavy shelling in South Kordofan killed at least seven people, injured scores more and destroyed houses and schools; the dead reportedly included an eight year old girl. Government forces also shelled areas of Blue Nile State, causing approximately 20,000 people to flee.

A spokesman for the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) claimed they had pushed government troops back into Kadugli, driving them from Bilingi, Hagar Anaba and inflicted heavy casualties on government troops. The claims remain unverified.

Meanwhile, the UN's top humanitarian official was in Sudan this week to discuss the growing humanitarian crisis in the two embattled southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile State. The Khartoum government has banned foreign aid groups from entering both regions.

Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, conducted a joint press conference with the Sudanese Social Welfare Minister Amira al-Fadel Mohamed in Khartoum yesterday. Amos stated she had reports that food insecurity and malnutrition in South Kordofan and Blue Nile had reached "alarming levels". She urged the Sudanese government to allow foreign aid groups access to the regions; the Sudanese government agreed to cooperate with the UN in so far as proving humanitarian information but refused to lift the ban. The Minister claimed there was no need to establish IDP camps in the region and that the Sudanese government was capable of distributing the necessary levels of aid. She also claimed the UN and aid groups who had left the regions had done so due to insecurity, denying they had been forced to leave.

UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos (R) speaks during a joint news conference with Sudanese Social Welfare Minister Amira al-Fadel Mohamed (L) in Khartoum, January 4, 2012.
Minister al-Fadel Mohamed and UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian  Affairs,  Valerie Amos, in Khartoum yesterday.

No comments:

Post a Comment