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USA condemns rebel attacks on civilians in Sudan’s South Kordofan

July 6 - 2015 KHARTOUM
SPLM-N fighters in South Kordofan (file photo)
SPLM-N fighters in South Kordofan (file photo)

The US Embassy in Khartoum condemned the attack by rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on civilians in South Kordofan last month.

“We note with grave concern reports that on June 25 the SPLM-N attacked against civilians in gold mining areas near the town of Talodi, in South Kordofan state,” the embassy said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

The attacks killed dozens of people and injured roughly 100 others as they gathered for morning prayers to begin their day of Ramadan fasting, the statement reads. “The targeting of civilians is a violation of international humanitarian law.”

Radio Dabanga reported on 28 June that at least 35 people were killed and about thirty others were injured in an attack by a group of armed men on two gold mines in South Kordofan's Talodi.

The governor of South Kordofan, Eisa Adam Abakar, told the press at the time that the motives behind the attack were unknown. He added that the gunmen also robbed the people in the area and torched their houses.

Cessation of hostilities

The embassy called on the SPLM-N, all other armed groups, and the Sudanese government to cease hostilities, to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular with regard to the protection of civilians, and to ensure safe, timely, and unhindered access for aid organisations.

The statement further urged the government and the SPLM-N to negotiate a peaceful settlement, stressing that there is no military solution to the conflicts in Sudan.

Fighting erupted between the Sudanese army and the SPLM-N in June 2011. Despite efforts of the AU mediation panel to end the conflict, the two parties failed to negotiate a ceasefire or a peace agreement.

They also failed to implement an agreement, brokered by UN agencies, the AU and the Arab League, aimed at allowing humanitarian access to civilians in the rebel held areas, though the SPLM-N announced last March that it was prepared to negotiate a cessation of hostilities on purely humanitarian grounds.

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