Statement on South Kordofan, Sudan by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Afffairs Valerie Amos

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 15 Jul 2011

(New York: 15 July 2011): I am increasingly alarmed by the mounting allegations of mass graves in South Kordofan, Sudan, and of reported disappearances of civilians, targeting of people on an ethnic basis, and extra-judicial killings.

Since the skirmishes began on 6 June, UN humanitarian agencies have been asking the Government of Sudan for unhindered access to all the people of South Kordofan. These requests have been repeatedly denied by the Government of Sudan, citing security concerns. A limited number of humanitarian agencies have been given access to Kadugli town, where there remains a heavy military presence. This is not unhindered access. The Government has also demanded the delivery of all aid through national organizations, which have limited capacity and are unable to address the increasing needs of vulnerable people throughout South Kordofan.

These access restrictions are seriously impeding our ability to assist people in need. We know that many of the 1.4 million residents within the affected areas will increasingly need humanitarian aid. We know that at least 73,000 people were displaced by the fighting, though we suspect that the actual number is much higher.

The information available to us is extremely limited. We do not know the whereabouts or the wellbeing of the people who have fled to the mountain areas. We do not know how people, in villages even a short distance from Kadugli, are faring. We do not know whether there is any truth to the grave allegations of extra-judicial killings, mass graves and other grave violations in South Kordofan. We are unable to verify those due to movement restrictions imposed by the Government of Sudan particularly against international organizations and personnel.

I call on all parties to grant the safe and unhindered passage of civilians, humanitarian personnel and assets. The serious allegations of violations of human rights and humanitarian law allegedly taking place in South Kordofan need to be investigated.

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