Saturday, June 11, 2011
Thousands flee as Sudanese armies clash in Southern Kordofan
A humanitarian emergency is unfolding in the Sudanese state of Southern Kordofan, as forces from the North and South continue to launch attacks in civilian areas, Amnesty International warned on Friday.
Tens of thousands of people are fleeing their homes as fighting continues between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and elements of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of South Sudan, which broke out last Sunday (June 5) across the state.
Amnesty has received reports from residents of the besieged towns of Kadugli and Dilling that the SAF, as well as Sudanese security forces in plain clothes, have been searching streets and houses, arresting and killing people suspected of supporting the SPLA.
“[Soldiers] were rushing out of everywhere onto the main road, asking ‘are you SPLA?’ They checked our things to see if they could find any documents which they consider link us to the SPLA. [If they do] they will capture you,” said a Kadugli resident.
A number of the attacks are indiscriminate, including aerial bombardments and artillery fire by the SAF. Bombings have been reported in five villages south of the state capital Kadugli, and in Talodi, Heiban, Kaudo, and other towns.
The United Nations estimated on Friday.that between 30,000 and 40,000 people have fled fighting in Kadugli, the capital of Sudan's oil-producing border state of South Kordofan. The UN had said that recent fighting was currently most fierce in the state capital, home to about 60,000 inhabitants.