Khartoum — The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir vowed to flush out remaining rebel pockets in South Kordofan as he ordered the setting up of camps across the country for the Popular Defense Forces (PDF).
Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) is fighting insurgencies on multiple fronts in the western region of Darfur and in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. South Sudan stands accused by Khartoum of aiding the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) that is fighting SAF in border states.
The SPLM-N fighters fought alongside the forces of what is now the south’s ruling SPLM during Sudan’s two-decades civil war that ended with a peace deal in 2005 and led to southern secession in 2011.
Juba says it has broken any links with the SPLM-N after the south seceded but military officials in Khartoum say that several divisions of South Sudan’s army are still fighting with the rebels.
To makes matters worse, SPLM-N joined hands with Darfur rebels late last year to form the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF). The latter claimed last month to have launched its first attacks against SAF in South Kordofan managing to take Jau town and Toroge area.
SAF at the time acknowledged the fighting but said it was SPLA attacking and that they eventually managed to repel them.
Events in the war zones are impossible to ascertain as access to these areas is severely restricted.Read more…
United Nations — Russia and China, two veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council described as key arms suppliers to the embattled regime in Syria, are now accused of supplying weapons and fuelling an ongoing conflict in another military hotspot: Sudan.
In a report released Thursday, the London-based Amnesty International (AI) said weapons sales by China and Russia, including ammunition, helicopter gunships, attack aircraft, air-to-ground rockets and armoured vehicles, have resulted in serious human rights violations in Darfur, Sudan.
AI said that arms supplied to the government of Sudan are used in Darfur both directly by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and government- backed militia, including the Popular Defence Force (PDF).
The PDF formally commanded and equipped by SAF operates alongside them, including by being deployed on SAF vehicles, while Chinese-made small arms ammunition is being used in Darfur by SAF, other Sudanese security agencies and SAF-backed militia groups.
“These arms transfers highlight the urgent need to strengthen the existing ineffectual U.N. arms embargo and for governments to agree on an effective Arms Trade Treaty (which is currently under negotiation),” it said.
Asked about these weapons sales, Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at the Arms Transfers Programme of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), told IPS that AI’s conclusions are fully in line with those of the reports of U.N. panels of experts which have investigated arms flows into Darfur, and which have described the weapons used in Darfur. Read more…
More than 350,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes in three states in Sudan and South Sudan, according to the UN refugee agency.
Two of the states – South Kordofan and Blue Nile – are in Sudan, while the third – Jonglei – is in the world’s newest nation.
In Blue Nile and South Kordofan, 100,000 people each have been forced out of their homes. Jonglei, in South Sudan, remains the worst affected, with inter-tribal violence having driven 150,000 from their homes.
In the six months since the independence of South Sudan, 360,000 people have arrived in the newly formed nation but Guterres said, “there is almost no economy, no infrastructure”, leaving those arriving to the south with little in terms of integration into the young state.Speaking to Al Jazeera on Friday from the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit in Davos, Switzerland, Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), said that the issues facing the three states are ultimately political ones – about borders, oil, and citizenship status after the formation of South Sudan last summer.
“There is never a humanitarian solution for humanitarian problems. The solution is always political,” Guterres said, referring to the situation as a “massive humanitarian emergency”. Read more…
Hundreds of SPLM-North fighters were killed in clashes with the Sudanese army in South Kordofan state, local governor Ahmed Haroun said.
“Several hundred members of the movement were killed this day in an assault on the city of Teludi that was repelled by the armed forces,” the governor of South Kordofan, an oil-producing state and scene of frequent clashes, said on Monday.
Army spokesperson Sawarmi Khaled Saad said over 700 fighters tried to attack the capital of Kadugli [Reuters”]
An army spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said “this morning more than 700 rebel fighters together with 12 officers tried to attack Teludi (east of the provincial capital Kadugli) to occupy it.”
“The armed forces waited for the invaders to arrive on three fronts with equipment and on several vehicles, but in an hour the armed forces and popular defence forces beat back the attack, causing heavy losses,” he said.
South Kordofan remained under Khartoum’s northern administration when South Sudan became independent in July, but violent clashes since June have pitted Nuba rebels once allied to southern rebels against the Sudanese army. Read more…
UN News Service/AllAfrica
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called for urgent action and funding to prevent a looming crisis in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, where the latest fighting combined with erratic rainfall has doomed next month’s harvest.
The two regions, which lie on the border between Sudan and the newly-independent nation of South Sudan, have been the scene of deadly fighting in recent weeks that has displaced tens of thousands of people. UN officials have called on all parties to cease hostilities and to ensure access so that humanitarian workers can reach those who need help.
FAO said in a news release that at least 235,000 people in both states need help given that food availability there is forecast to be “significantly reduced” following renewed fighting between Sudanese Government troops and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).
The fighting has disrupted the major crop season in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan – two of Sudan’s main sorghum producing areas, according to the Rome-based agency.