September 6, 2011

Thousands Flee To Ethiopia After Clashes In Sudan!!! Why Hasn't Omar Al-Bashir Been Arrested?!?! He Has Been Convicted By The ICC For Crimes Against Humanity, GENOCIDE!!!

Sudan Tribune
written by Tesfa-Alem Tekle
Sunday September 4, 2011

September 4, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – The UN’s Refugee agency (UNHCR) on Saturday disclosed that conflict in Sudan’s Blue Nile state between the army and an opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) have forced thousands of people to flee to neighboring Ethiopia.

Clashes broke out overnight between Thursday and Friday between the Sudanese Army and armed members of the SPLM-N, a fomer branch of the party that rules the recently independent South Sudan. Both sides have traded accusations over who instigated the fighting.

UNHCR said it has received reports of at least 16,000 people fleeing across the border into Ethiopia. Nine international staff who had been working for the UN and NGOs in Kermuk - a SPLM-N controlled area in the south of the state - also crossed the border in Ethiopia.

The UN refugee agency on Saturday dispatched a team to western Ethiopia to assess the situation. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres on Sunday appealed for an immediate halt to hostilities in Sudan’s Blue Nile state.

"We need, at all costs, to stop yet one more refugee crisis in a region of the world that has been witnessing in recent months so much suffering," said Guterres in a press release. This came after his return to Geneva on Friday from visiting nearby Somalia, where hundreds of thousands of people are currently displaced by conflict, drought, and famine.

Neither government nor UNHCR officials in Ethiopia were available on Sunday for comments over the reports.

The United States on Saturday expressed deep concern about the ongoing fighting urging the warring parties to immediately end the clashes.

"We call on both parties to cease hostilities and for the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) to end aerial bombings. We also call on both parties to protect civilians and engage in dialogue to prevent further escalation of violence," a US spokesperson said.

US state department official, Victoria Nuland, noted an urgent need for negotiations between Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N to bring peace and stability to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

“In this regard we are particularly disappointed that there has been no follow through after the meeting between President Bashir and SPLM-N Chairman Malik Agar in Khartoum on August 21”.

Agar, who is the elected state governor of Blue Nile, was deposed on Friday and a military governor installed. The former governor’s residence was attacked during the fighting according the SPLM-N. Agar is reported to have traveled to Kurmuk as the Sudanese army took control of Al-Damazine, the state capital.

Fighting spread to the areas of Dindiro, 70 km south of the state capital as well as villages near El Roseires to the east, the UN reported.

The SPLM-N say their offices have been closed and members arrested across Sudan, with the party declared an illegal entity by the government. The group has since June been fighting the government in nearby Southern Kordofan. On both occasions the fighting began soon after Sudan’s army issued an ultimatum for the SPLM-N to disarm.

Khartoum signed deal with the SPLM-N in August, which recognised the party but later the President Bashir decided to scrap the agreement. Agar warned at the time that failure to stick to the deal would result in a front against the government from running from Blue Nile state, which borders Ethiopia, through South Kordofan to Darfur which borders Chad to the west.

The SPLM-N and Darfur rebel groups including the two factions of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) are negotiating an alliance to overthrow the regime.

South Sudan, which became independent in July denies that it continues to back the SPLM-N who fought with the SPLM against Khartoum during two decades of civil war. As part of the 2005 peace deal that led to South Sudan’s secession the two border states were supposed to hold "popular consultations" to decide whether the six years of the peace agreement had addressed their grievances. But neither process has been completed,

"We also reiterate the need for a peaceful relationship between Sudan and South Sudan and for resolution of outstanding issues between the two countries" Nuland said in the statement.

No comments: