The armed conflict in Sudan's Southern Kordofan between the Sudanese government and armed opposition group, the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N)1, continues unabated, and to the detriment of the civilian population. Indiscriminate attacks by both parties, including aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), and Sudan's ongoing denial of humanitarian access to areas affected by the conflict since it erupted in June 2011, have led to deaths and injuries of civilians, and the destruction of civilian property. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced internally or have sought refuge South Sudan.
Southern Kordofan is one of Sudan's 'Three Areas,' addressed separately in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); an agreement which among other things led to the independence of South Sudan.3 Due to a number of unresolved issues in the CPA in relation to Sudan's 'Three Areas' conflict erupted in Southern Kordofan in June 2011 and expanded to Blue Nile in September 2011.
This briefing focuses on attacks against civilians in Southern Kordofan's Nuba Mountain region, and the additional hardship they continue to face due to the lack of humanitarian assistance and displacement. It is based on research carried out by Amnesty International during a mission to Yida and Pariang refugee camps in Unity State, South Sudan, and to SPLA-N controlled areas of Southern Kordofan in January 2013. Interviews were carried out with scores of civilians in refugee camps in Unity State and in the SPLA-N controlled areas of Southern Kordofan. Meetings were also held with the UN refugee agency – UNHCR, international NGOs, members of the SPLA-N, and national human rights monitors in SPLA-N controlled areas.
Amnesty International was unable to travel to government-controlled areas of Southern Kordofan, due to Sudan's long-standing denial of access to international human rights organizations. Amnesty International has been denied access to Sudan since 2006.