UN Accuses Sudan of Possible War Crimes in S. Kordofan

Posted July 19th, 2011 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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A leaked United Nations report accuses Sudan's army and police of possible war crimes in the state of Southern Kordofan, where fighting has raged since early June.

The report, obtained by VOA, accuses the Sudan Armed Forces of targeting people who supported the southern Sudanese army during its long fight with the Khartoum government. It says they also targeted members of the Nuban ethnic group, who mostly supported the southerners.

The report, prepared by the U.N. mission in Sudan, says the army has carried out killings, abductions, attacks on churches and aerial bombardment, resulting in the forced displacement of people from their homes and out of the state.

The authors said the acts, if proven, may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Sudanese officials have not responded to phone calls from VOA seeking comment.

Southern Kordofan is controlled by Khartoum but many of its residents are sympathetic to South Sudan, which split from the rest of Sudan earlier this month.

Sudanese officials have characterized the fighting in Southern Kordofan as a rebellion. The U.N. report says the fighting may have been triggered by a Sudanese government ultimatum for former southern soldiers to leave the state.

The leaked U.N. report also says Sudanese forces have harassed the U.N. mission in Sudan with intimidation, physical assaults, arbitrary arrests, and ill treatment amounting to torture.

It calls the attacks “egregious” and says the international community should insist that Sudan bring those responsible to justice.