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

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.