US fears Kordofan violence contagion to South Sudan

| August 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

BRUSSELS — The US special envoy to Sudan on Wednesday voiced fears that the violence in the South Kordofan region could spread and engulf the newly independent nation of South Sudan.

“I think that the danger in the fighting in South Kordofan is that it could indeed spread to other parts of the Nuba mountains or of the Blue Nile,” Princeton Lyman said in a news conference on the Internet.

“It could involve the south because there are links from the civil war between elements in the south and the people fighting in South Kordofan,” he explained.

South Kordofan remained under Khartoum’s northern administration when South Sudan became independent last month but since June violent clashes have been pitting Nuba rebels once allied to southern rebels against the Sudanese army.

Lyman said maximum efforts needed to be deployed to keep the violence from spreading to South Sudan, the world’s newest state which faces the daunting task of turning its back on decades of war to build its institutions.

The US envoy lashed out at Khartoum’s heavy-handed crackdown against the Nuba rebellion.

“The way the government is conducting the war in South Kordofan violates the standards of war in the 21st century,” he said, citing the “bombing of civilian targets, taking people out of their homes, possible extrajudicial killings.”

Washington had advocated maintaining a UN peacekeeping presence in South Kordofan after the July 9 secession of South Sudan, in vain.

But Lyman said he was “sure” the issue would be back on the table soon.

Khartoum had hoped it would be removed from the US list of rogue states and that sanctions against it would be lifted as a reward for its acceptance of South Sudan‘s independence.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, also voiced alarm

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Category: South Sudan News