News / Africa

Ongoing Clashes Impact South Kordofan Citizens

Fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan state has forced tens of thousands to flee to refugee camps. But what about those who stay behind?

SPLA-N fighters practice with a mortar as others watch near Jebel Kwo village in the rebel-held territory of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan May 2, 2012.SPLA-N fighters practice with a mortar as others watch near Jebel Kwo village in the rebel-held territory of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan May 2, 2012.
x
SPLA-N fighters practice with a mortar as others watch near Jebel Kwo village in the rebel-held territory of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan May 2, 2012.
SPLA-N fighters practice with a mortar as others watch near Jebel Kwo village in the rebel-held territory of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan May 2, 2012.
Kelly J. Kelly
In South Kordofan, the Sudanese Armed Forces and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North have been struggling for a year over control of the territory. But the clashes are taking their toll not only on the government army and rebels, but also on civilians.

Ongoing Clashes Impact South Kordofan Citizens
Ongoing Clashes Impact South Kordofan Citizensi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X


Claudio Gramizzi, an independent researcher who writes reports for the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey, has just returned from the region. He describes abandoned fields, where farmers have not been cultivating crops for fear of getting hit by aerial bomb attacks from the SAF. If the attacks continue, farmers will likely miss the planting season this year, too.

And as far as getting supplies from the single road to South Sudan, Gramizzi says an already difficult trip is about to become impossible.  

“I actually had to travel from the border to Juba by car myself, and it took me three days,” he says. “There were already a lot of vehicles blocked in the mud, so the expectation is basically you have another couple of rains and the road will be blocked for at least three months.”

Ryan Boyette, an American who lives in South Kordofan and is married to a Nuba woman, confirms that people there are barely surviving. “Whether they’re in their homes or in caves, they’re all picking leaves of certain trees that they boil for hours and eat."

Boyette, who is sympathetic to the SPLM-N, and Gramizzi both say the Sudanese government has not allowed humanitarian aid organizations to bring food and other supplies into the region. Gramizzi says that is because Khartoum is trying to force civilians to move into government-controlled territory.

For instance, Gramizzi says that after a SAF attack in the village of Abu Hashim, people ran away and vacated the village. “Then when they came back two or three days later, they discovered a lot of things were looted. And that food stores were burned or destroyed.”

But the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC denies Khartoum is blocking aid. In an e-mail response to a request for an interview, an embassy spokesperson writes the challenge is getting aid to citizens without it falling into the hands of the rebels. And, he says, the government’s aggressive measures are aimed at restoring security to the area.

Ryan Boyette says those measures do not seem to be working to Khartoum’s benefit. “When Sudanese Armed Forces comes into a village and completely burns down houses or does aerial bombardments on villages, it enrages the people that are living here. And they end up joining the SPLM-North to fight against their government.”

Independent researcher Claudio Gramizzi says the SPLM-N appears to be controlling the region, and that morale is high.

Knowing what’s happening on the SAF side is harder, he says. But it appeared to him that even though Sudan had airplanes and helicopters, they did not have trained soldiers or new recruits.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid