A report released on Aug. 15 by the U.N. human rights office said that violations of international law that are alleged to have taken place in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan State in June “could amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes.” The 12-page report describes a wide range of alleged violations in the town of Kadugli as well as in the surrounding Nuba mountains, including “extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention, enforced disappearances, attacks against civilians, looting of civilian homes and destruction of property.”
Fighting broke out in Kadugli in June between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N). South Kordofan is emerging as the latest flashpoint in Sudan between the Khartoum government in the north and the newly independent Republic of South Sudan. Thousands have been dislocated by the renewed violence, and there is evidence of a campaign of ethnic cleansing being undertaken by the Khartoum government, driving out the native Nuba people and replacing them with Arab tribes that support the north. Rebels in South Kordofan, mostly ethnic Nuba people organized into the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, were once part of the rebel movement that is now in power in South Sudan. On Aug. 7, the SPLM-N joined with three rebel groups in western Darfur to form the Revolutionary Front Alliance. The front’s objective is to overthrow the National Congress Party, the ruling party in Khartoum, and create a new liberal and secular state.