News / Africa

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
John Tanza

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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