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Southern Kordofan Lawmakers Quit Sudan's National Assembly


Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, third right, talks at the National Assembly in Khartoum, Sudan, July 12, 2011

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, third right, talks at the National Assembly in Khartoum, Sudan, July 12, 2011

Three Southern Kordofan members of National Assembly in Khartoum have resigned, citing the humanitarian crisis in their constituencies as the sole reason for stepping down. Amar Amoun who heads the committee on transport and communication in the assembly said villages in Southern Kordofan are being bombed daily, civilians are living in caves and exposed to hunger and diseases.

He said his visit to Dilling county in Southern Kordofan State exposed what he called a ‘’humanitarian disaster ’’. Amoun said the ruling National Congress Party is responsible for the widespread destruction in villages under the control of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-northern sector. He said he was touched by the suffering of his people and hence tended his resignation in protest.

Violence erupted in Southern Kordofan in the aftermath of disputed legislative and gubernatorial elections, whose result was declared in favor of the ruling National Congress Party’s candidate Ahmed Haroun. Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) northern sector's candidate, Abdul Aziz al-Hilu, then alleged the votes were rigged in favor of Haroun and vowed not respect the results.

Human rights organization and international aid agencies have since been denied access to the area and the UN and other aid organizations report massive displacement of civilians and reported government arrest and summary executions of members of the SPLM-northern sector. The Sudan government maintains that it has the capacity to assist the people affected by the conflict in the area.

Amar Amoun’s resignation along with another two lawmakers is the first reaction by national politicians from Southern Kordofan. Two months ago, Daniel Kodi, a veteran SPLM-north member attempted to mediate between Abdul Aziz Al Hilu and President Omar Al Basir. Kodi's mediation efforts were ignored by President Bashir and other leaders within the National Congress Party.

Listen: John Tanza Interview with Amar Amoun, former Southern Kordofan member of parliament.

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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the  South Sudan In Focus radio program.
     
    Before joining VOA, John worked in Nairobi, Kenya where he established the first independent radio station (Sudan Radio Service) for the people of Sudan. He has covered several civil wars both in Sudan and South Sudan and has been engaged in the production of civic education materials for creating awareness about post conflict issues facing Sudanese and South Sudanese. John has interviewed South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, Vice President Wani Igga, leader of Sudan’s Umma Party Sadiq Al Mahdi in addition to other senior United Nations and U.S government officials in South Sudan and Washington. His travels have taken him across to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, DRC Congo and parts East Africa where he reported on the South Sudanese diaspora and the challenges facing them.
     
    A South Sudanese national, John enjoys listening to music from all over the world, reads academic books, watches documentaries and listens to various radio stations on the internet.  You can follow John on Twitter at @Abusukon

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