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UN Mission in Sudan Investigates Attacks in Kordofan State

James Butty June 06, 2011

A spokesperson for the U.N. Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) says the world body is concerned about new fighting in South Kordofan state.

This comes as North Sudan's government over the weekend rejected a call from the U.N. Security Council to pull its troops out of the disputed Abyei region, which it has occupied since May 21st.

Hua Jiang, UNMIS public information director, says the mission has sent out patrols to verify reports of attacks on two towns in South Kordofan State.

“The information I got so far is that there [were] two attacks, one happened in the morning (Sunday) and one happened last [Saturday] night. The incident last [Saturday] night was that, in the town of Kadugli, the police station was attacked by an unknown group. In a different incident, we heard there were some gunshots fired in a place called Um Dorain. So far, we don’t have much more details about the two incidents, and the U.N. has sent out ground patrols to verify the situation on the ground,” she says.

Jiang says the world body has heard different versions of stories as to what might have prompted the clashes, but no independent verification.

Tensions are said to be running high in South Kordofan, which has strong links to south Sudan set to become independent from the north on July 9th.

Jiang says the United Nations is concerned about the escalation in violence, but declined to say whether the attacks were provocations by the north.

“I think in different parts of Sudan there are different reasons for the fighting. Of course, the U.N. is very much concerned about the escalation of violence inside Sudan,” Jiang says.

She says the world body has been appealing to all the parties to restrain from using violence and to re-establish the use of dialogue to resolve their difference.

Meanwhile, North Sudan's government Saturday rejected a call from the U.N. Security Council to pull its troops out of the disputed Abyei region.

On Friday, the Council condemned the north's occupation of Abyei describing it as a "serious violation" of the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan's north-south civil war.

The north's foreign minister, Ali Ahmad Karti, responded late Saturday, saying the north cannot be asked to withdraw from Abyei because it is Sudanese territory.

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