Washington - American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday railed against reports of serious human rights abuses and ethnic violence in Sudan's flashpoint border province of South Kordofan.
While Clinton welcomed the passage at the United Nations Security Council of a resolution ordering the deployment of 4 200 peacekeepers to the neighbouring Abyei region, she said she was “deeply concerned” by events in South Kordofan.
“Tens of thousands of people have been driven from their homes, and there are reports of very serious human rights abuses and violence targeting individuals based on their ethnicity and political affiliation,” Clinton said.
“We urge the parties to reach an immediate ceasefire and to provide aid workers with the unfettered access required to deliver humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians affected by the conflict,” her written statement said.
North and South Sudan fought a two-decade civil war in which two million people died. A 2005 peace accord, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ended the conflict and allowed for a referendum in January in which the south voted massively to split from the north.
Abyei did not take part in the referendum because the two sides could not agree who should be eligible to vote.
Major worries remain ahead of South Sudan's independence day particularly because of the new conflict in South Kordofan, on the northern side of the border, where troops and their allies are fighting forces loyal to south. - Sapa-AFP