. Earth Science News .

Abyei clashes 'resume' on Sudan's embattled border
by Staff Writers
Khartoum (AFP) June 15, 2011

Clashes erupted in Abyei Wednesday between north and south Sudanese troops, the southern army said, just days after a deal to demilitarise the disputed area, and as Khartoum stepped up air strikes in neighbouring South Kordofan.

Members of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF -- northern army) exchanged fire with the Sudan People's Liberation Army at the Kiir, or Bahr al-Arab, river, the southern army's spokesman told AFP, without providing details of casualties.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir had agreed on Monday, during crisis talks in Ethiopia, to a provisional deal to pull northern troops out of Abyei, after they overran the bitterly contested border district last month.

In adjacent South Kordofan, the UN expressed alarm at Sudan's intensified bombing campaign, which religious leaders and human rights activists said formed part of a government policy of ethnic cleansing, targeting the indigenous Nuba peoples who fought with the southern rebels during the 1983-2005 civil war.

After a wave of air strikes on Tuesday, allegedly targeting rebel positions in the Nuba Mountains, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said the situation in South Kordofan remained "extremely volatile and tense."

Earlier, a UN report said the Sudan Red Crecent Society had collected 25 dead bodies in the state capital Kadugli.

The World Food Programme said the lack of security was preventing it from providing emergency supplies to tens of thousands of people uprooted by the conflict, now thought to number more than 64,000.

"There is a growing sense of panic among some of the displaced populations who find themselves trapped by the ongoing violence and the ethnic fault lines," the UN humanitarian office reported.

Heavy fighting pitting the SAF and allied militiamen against fighters aligned to southern former rebel group the Sudan People's Liberation Army has raged across the state since June 5.

On Tuesday, the SAF appeared to step up its air strikes on former rebel strongholds.

UNMIS said jet fighters dropped 11 bombs around the town of Kauda on Tuesday morning, as part of its ongoing bombing campaign that was causing "huge suffering" to the civilian population.

The SAF denied it was targeting civilians, saying it was battling a rebellion in South Kordofan, while a ruling party official at the information ministry insisted the Sudanese government treated all ethnic groups equally.

"Saying that the army is targeting the Nuba is false information (from the rebels), to show the world that they are suffering from marginalisation," Rabie Abdel Ati told AFP.

A Sudanese human rights group reported this week that Antonov bombers had killed more than 65 people in air strikes in South Kordofan since the start of the fighting.

The Sudan Democracy First Group, in a six-page report, accused the SAF of pursuing a genocidal campaign against the Nuba in South Kordofan, supported by a feared civil war militia that now forms part of the northern army.

The accusations were echoed by opposition MPs in Khartoum.

"(The government) wants to pursue their Arab-Islamic state and anyone who opposes that will be eliminated. And the Nuba have the loudest voice in that, saying they are proud to be Nuba," Ahmed Saeed, a Nuba activist and MP for South Kordofan, told AFP.

Daniel Deng Bul, who as the Episcopal Archbishop of Sudan is the country's senior Anglican clergyman, also accused Khartoum of pursuing a policy of "ethnic cleansing" in South Kordofan, in a statement on Tuesday.

The UN refugee agency, meanwhile, has appealed to the Sudanese authorities to provide air and road access for humanitarian agencies to South Kordofan, where UN offices and warehouses have been looted.

Planes have been refused permission to land and roadblocks were hampering access by land, spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.

Reports are also emerging of alleged extra-judicial killings carried out by the armed forces on Sudanese UN staff and on civilians, during house-to-house searches for suspected SPLA sympathisers.

US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that there was no military solution to the conflict in South Kordofan, and urged the government of Sudan to halt its military operations immediately.

Also on Tuesday the vice president of the government of Southern Sudan, Riek Machar, met the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, in New York, and warned that ethnic cleansing is looming in Southern Kordufan if no immediate action is taken.

A press release from Machar's office said the vice president also told Rice that the actions of the SAF in Abyei were a genocide in the making.

The United States has threatened to freeze the normalisation of its ties with Sudan, warning the government it faced deeper international isolation if it did not halt the violence, which threatens to cast a pall over the run-up to southern independence next month.

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Abyei clashes 'resume' on Sudan's embattled border
Khartoum (AFP) June 15, 2011
Clashes erupted in Abyei Wednesday between north and south Sudanese troops, the southern army said, just days after a deal to demilitarise the disputed area, and as Khartoum stepped up air strikes in neighbouring South Kordofan. Members of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF - northern army) exchanged fire with the Sudan People's Liberation Army at the Kiir, or Bahr al-Arab, river, the southern ... read more

Quake-hit N.Z. cathedrals face wrecking ball

Quake-weary Christchurch residents ponder leaving

Japan eyes $25 bn second reconstruction budget

Japan to compile second reconstruction budget

Malaysia seals pharmaceutical company over radiation

Coming to TV Screens of the Future: A Sense of Smell

Microsoft Kinect makes moves on computers

Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

Mississippi river flooding predicted to cause biggest dead zone ever recorded

India not alarmed by China dam

Mini-submarines to gauge Lake Geneva pollution

Stranding records are faithful reflection of live whale and dolphin populations

Glaciations may have larger influence on biodiversity than current climate

Raytheon Completes Satellite Downlink in Antarctica for Critical Weather Systems

New map reveals giant fjords beneath East Antarctic ice sheet

Support for local community programs key to climate change response in Arctic

Multi-paddock grazing is superior to continuous grazing

Using Recycled Cardboard in Food Packaging Risks Contaminating Food with Mineral Oils

Unique Gene Combinations Control Tropical Maize Response to Day Lengths

Dawn of agriculture took toll on health

Australia flights resume but ash affects N.Zealand

Volcano ash woes worsen in Australia, ease in Argentina

Pakistan warns floods could affect millions

Geologist: Chile volcano should continue to diminish

Sudan army 'to fight by all means' in border state

Abyei clashes 'resume' on Sudan's embattled border

Abyei clashes 'resume' on Sudan's embattled border

UN condemns North Sudan offensive

Bones give peek at key evolutionary period

WHO: 1 billion disabled worldwide

Eating dirt can be good for the belly

Australia back-tracks on asylum kids

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement