According to the United Nations 40,000 of the estimated 60,000 inhabitants of Kadugli, capital of Southern Kordofan state, on the border between north and south Sudan have fled their homes as bombing by the Khartoum government continued into its sixth day.
Southern Kordofan borders the oil-rich states of Unity and Upper Nile in Southern Sudan, which will assume control of about 75 percent of Sudan’s daily oil production of 490,000 barrels of oil at independence. The crude is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp., Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd and India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. The state pumps about 115,000 barrels per day, according to Sudan’s minister of state for oil, Ali Ahmed Osman.
Under the peace agreement, the northern and southern armies were due to jointly patrol Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states on the northern side of the border and Abyei. All three areas were key battlegrounds during the civil war. The clashes in Southern Kordofan pit northern fighters who served with the southern rebels during the civil war, mainly from the Nuba ethnic group, against the Sudanese army.
The former deputy governor of Southern Kordofan, Abdel-Aziz Adam Al-Hilu, called on “all marginalized people” in northern Sudan to struggle to topple al-Bashir’s government.
“The people want to topple the regime to achieve radical change in the center to remove all forms of marginalization,” Al-Hilu said in a statement yesterday. “Be it by armed struggle, popular uprising, civil disobedience, strikes or protests,” he said.
Al-Hilu lost the election for governor in May to Ahmed Haroun, who’s wanted by the International Criminal Court over allegations he was involved in war crimes in the Sudanese western region of Darfur. (Information from the San Francisco Chronical: Karl Maier and Heather Langan, editors)
U. S. position on Sudan’s conflict:
The recent aggression by the government in Khartoum has put the possibility of normalized relations with the United States into grave jeopardy.
In the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, northern Sudan agreed to honor the independence of the south in part because the United States had indicated that it was willing to lift sanctions on the north and normalize diplomatic relations if the government in Khartoum met certain conditions. But Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said the recent northern aggression, especially in Abyei, was not helping Khartoum’s case.
“They have put into grave jeopardy the implementation of the roadmap,” Rice said.
“Because they have not only not fulfilled their obligations, they are doing the opposite. “But if they were to pull out and withdraw their forces, and allow for a neutral peacekeeping presence” in Abyei, Ms. Rice said, “it’s not necessarily too late. But they have to hurry. The world is watching and waiting.”