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Sudan - Two Areas Conflict - 2011

In Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, Sudans Two Areas, fighting that began in mid-2011 between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-North severely affected or displaced more than 1.1 million people within the Two Areas and caused more than 234,000 people to flee to neighboring countries, mostly South Sudan, according to the UN.

This crisis first arose in June 2011, shortly after the military forces of the Republic of Sudan attacked the Abyei region, apparently as a provocation to South Sudan's Sudanese People's Liberation Movement, or SPLM. South Sudan was about to become independent and these attacks may have been intended to provoke a fight that could derail their independence.

At the same time, Sudanese attacks on SPLM North members in the Sudanese State of Southern Kordofan were increasing. Because of the fighting and the displacement of Sudanese and foreigners from Southern Kordofan, no one estimated how many people are being killed in the area. More than 73,000 people were displaced. Whatever the numbers involved, we can be sure that the suffering of the people of Southern Kordofan, especially the Nuba people, was catastrophic.

In Southern Kordofan, an estimated 1.4 million were affected by fighting between the South Armed Forces and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement North. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. There were disturbing reports of targeted killing of Nuba people and mass graves that the SAF were searching homes for SPLM supporters, and then detaining, torturing and killing them. This is all evidence of ethnic cleansing.

Unfortunately, the SAF were armed to do the job. They were using heavy weapons, including artilleries, helicopters, MiG fighters and Russian-made Antonov bombers to hunt the Nubians like animals, as it was said. The violence that is occurring is by no means an isolated or localized incident. Bashir had done this many, many times before in Darfur and Eastern Sudan and here in South Kordofan.

Air raids resulted in civilian deaths throughout Southern Kordofan; similar tactics appeared to be employed in Blue Nile. For example, aerial bombardments occurred in Kadugli, Kauda, Dilling, Talodi, Um Durein, and other parts of Southern Kordofan. During the week of October 17, the UN reported nearly 2,000 refugees from Blue Nile State fled to Ethiopia to escape aerial attacks by the SAF. They fled bombings by Antonov planes on the towns of Bau, Sali, and Dinduro, all located between Kurmuk and Damazin.

During the June fighting in Southern Kordofan, the UN reported the SAF carried out shelling of densely populated areas. On June 8, SAF soldiers pulled a contractor with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) out of his vehicle in front of the UNMIS Kadugli compound. Soldiers proceeded to remove him from the area, and soon thereafter witnesses reported hearing gunshots and finding his corpse.

On May 19, SPLM forces attacked a UN convoy that was escorting withdrawing SAF forces from Kadugli, resulting in loss of life among the SAF forces. The UN reported both the SAF and Sudan Peoples Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) allegedly laid antipersonnel land mines in Kadugli, resulting in civilian deaths.

The attacks on Southern Kordofan disrupted the planting season and will have a long-term negative impact on the ability of its people to feed themselves. In parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, people suffer from drought made worse by conflict. In Southern Kordofan, the national government is creating a similar humanitarian crisis. The death and destruction to which Sudanese Africans have been subjected was thought to have ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 to end the North-South Civil War. However, the genocide in Darfur diverted the international community's attention away from the unresolved issues between North and South.

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Page last modified: 06-08-2015 19:53:39 ZULU