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Sudan - Two Areas Conflict - 2013

Heavy fighting between the SAF and SPLM-N continued in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. Both the government and rebel fighters were accused of excessive force and targeting civilians. SAF air raids resulted in civilian deaths throughout Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. On September 6, an air raid on the Sombok Friday market killed at least 30 civilians and injured several others. An estimated 975 persons were killed during the year.

SPLM/Ns Blue Nile Humanitarian Coordination Office reported on April 10, an air raid on the villages of Gerdan, Ura, Chali, and Mayak Babras in Blue Nile killed at least five civilians. Those killed were primarily women and children; three others were injured in the raids. On June 14, the SPLM/N shelled Kadugli town, killing two civilians and one UNISFA peacekeeper, while wounding two UNISFA peacekeepers.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 227,000 refugees from Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile entered Ethiopia and South Sudan since June 2011. In addition the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency estimated the conflict had displaced or severely affected more than 800,000 persons.

The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition force of the SPLM-N, the SLA/AW, the SLA/MM, and the JEM, conducted indiscriminate attacks on civilians in the Two Areas. On April 27, the SRF attacked targets in Northern and Southern Kordofan. The attack killed at least 30 civilians and nine SAF members. The government accused the SRF of committing serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial executions of members of progovernment political parties in Abu Kershola. The HAC estimated the assaults on Abu Kershola and neighboring areas displaced at least 63,000 persons. Following the recapture of Abu Kershola in May, between 20,000 and 30,000 IDPs returned to their areas. Other IDPs remained settled in the neighboring areas of Um Ruwaba, El Obeid, and Khartoum.

In contrast to previous years, in 2013 the government granted international humanitarian organizations limited access to government-controlled areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. For the first time since 2011, organizations were able to provide humanitarian relief, including hand pumps, food rations, and meningitis vaccinations. International humanitarian organizations have not had access to rebel-controlled areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile since June and September 2011, respectively.

The increase in intertribal Arab conflict led to more than 4,282 deaths in Darfur during the year. In addition to deaths attributed to intertribal clashes, many deaths continued to be attributed to the SAF and militia groups. Security deteriorated in North Darfur, and violence, including indiscriminate SAF aerial bombardments, continued in the Jebel Marra area in Darfur.

In April, Salamat and Misseriya tribesmen clashed in the South Darfur towns of Um-Dukhun, Garsila, Mukjar, and Bedisi. The clashes killed more than 300 persons and displaced an estimated 74,000 others to Chad as the two tribes burned villages and looted livestock and properties in the region. On December 15, the two tribes signed a peace agreement, which includes a cessation of hostilities, reopening of roads and markets, and disbanding armed groups.

On October 20, SAF launched an airstrike on a Rezeigat tribal settlement in Hajr Dabak village, East Darfur. The airstrike resulted in 10 deaths and several injuries.

In 2012 the government and SPLM/N signed separate memoranda of understanding for humanitarian access to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile with the UN, AU, and League of Arab States, known collectively as the Tripartite. The plan was not implemented by the end of 2013.

On November 11, John Ging, director of the operational division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told reporters the UN was unable to vaccinate 165,000 children against polio in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile after the government and the SPLM/N who had both agreed to the immunization campaign disagreed over the need for another meeting between the two parties.

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Page last modified: 06-08-2015 19:53:40 ZULU