Siege: Evidence of SAF encirclement of the Kauda Valley


25 January 2012

Editor’s Note
Based on the totality of the evidence presented in this report, the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) is issuing a human security alert for the Nuba Mountains region of South Kordofan, including the Kauda Valley. A human security alert is issued by SSP when evidence is collected indicating any of the following: a build-up of forces and/or an enhancement of infrastructure and logistical capabilities indicating either the intent and/or the ability of an armed actor to restrict civilian freedom of movement, detain or displace civilians, and/or attack civilian targets.

The evidence in this report indicates a pattern almost identical to the activity and disposition of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) reported by SSP before their invasion of Abyei in May of last year. That evidence prompted SSP to issue an immediate human security alert in March 2011.1 Currently, Sudanese road crews are, in one area, within 10 kilometers of completing the roads required to deploy heavy armor into the Kauda Valley. South Kordofan Governor Ahmed Haroun, indicted in 2008 by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur, stated in October 2011, “These [road construction] projects will be the weapon for defeating the enemies.2

Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported on 23 November 2011 that Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir stated that “the celebration for wiping out the rebellion in South Kordofan State will be through the coming final battle in Kauda area.”3 Governor Haroun echoed this statement on 8 December 2011 when he pledged to clear the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) from South Kordofan. Haroun identified three areas still under SPLM-N control to be attacked: Heiban, Umm Dorain and Buram. Haroun further vowed to liberate Kauda from rebel forces.4