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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid