At least 100,000 people are feared to have fled bombing in Sudan’s South Kordofan region following clashes between south Sudan forces and President Omar Al-Bashir’s forces near the north-south border. The United Nations accused Northern forces of targeting the area’s pro-southern groups, as oil-rich South Sudan prepares for independence next month.
Following the upsurge in the fighting, US President Barak Obama issued a call for a ceasefire to prevent a return to the two-decade north-south civil war. Instigated by the North, the fighting is said to have already claimed the lives of about 65 people. The Sudan Democracy First Group accused Khartoum of pursuing a genocidal campaign in South Kordofan. But a spokesman for the Sudanese embassy in London, Ibrahim Mubarak, said pro-south militias were responsible for the conflict. “They are not disciplined. They attacked UN forces and Sudanese army forces and instigated the whole situation,” he told the BBC’s Network Africa programme.
The UN humanitarian agency, Ocha, said 11 areas were affected by the violence, forcing many people to hide in mountainous areas. The UN says Sudan was carrying out an “intensive bombing campaign” near the north-south border. “There is a growing sense of panic among some of the displaced populations who find themselves trapped by the ongoing violence and ethnic fault lines,” it added.