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Former UN Head in Sudan Calls for Urgent Action in Southern Kordofan

South Kordofan fighting puts 20,000 lives at risk in South Sudan
South Kordofan fighting puts 20,000 lives at risk in South Sudan
The former head of the United Nations in Sudan said humanitarian situation in the Nuba mountains is very disturbing. Mukesh Kapila recently visited villages in southern Kordofan and said he has witnessed illegal weapons such as landmines and cluster bombs being used against civilians in the Nuba Mountains.

He also said many children in the region showed signs of malnourishment. Kapila warned of what he termed the ‘’second genocide of the century’’ unless the international community takes action. Fighting between Sudan Armed Forces and rebels of Sudan People’s Liberation Army – North (SPLA North) erupted in June of last year, forcing thousands of civilians to take refuge in South Sudan.

Fighting in Nuba Mountains

He accused Sudan of using heavy weapons against civilian targets. ‘’ What is going on in {the} Nuba mountains is even worse because ten years after Darfur we have much more sophisticated weaponry {being} used by Sudan Armed Forces’’ Kapila said.

The former United Nations diplomat said Sudan's government is using a proxy popular
defense militia to terrorize the people of Nuba Mountains. He said Darfur was the first
genocide of the 21st Century.He says based on his most recent trip, he believes a second genocide is underway in Sudan.

Response of the international community

Mukesh Kapila, who serves as an Aegis Trust Special Representative for Crimes Against Humanity, said the international community must act quickly to save lives in the Nuba Mountains. ‘’If we get our acts together in relations to Libya, Syria and other [hot spots] which [would be] a good thing, it is time to do something [for] the Nuba people as well,’’ he said.

Sudan has repeatedly denied reports of a worsening humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile states. He urged Khartoum to stop denying the reality on the ground and allow access to international aid agencies. Sudan in turn, accuses South Sudan of helping the rebels of the SPLA North which operate along the Sudan/South Sudan border.

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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.