UN urges end to hostilities in South Kordofan

AFP , Saturday 16 Jul 2011

The UN Security Council called for an immediate end to hostilities in the Sudanese border area of South Kordofan, saying those who attacked civilians should be held to account.

"Members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern about the violence," said acting council president, German ambassador Peter Wittig on Friday.

The Security Council called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities" and also condemned "any violent and unlawful act against civilians and UN personnel," he said, warning those responsible would be held "accountable."

All sides must give access to humanitarian staff, he added.

His comments came as AFP obtained an unpublished UN report that alleged the Sudanese army and allied forces have carried out systematic attacks on Nuba civilians in South Kordofan that could amount to war crimes.

Violence has swept Sudan's ethnically divided region since June 5, with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) battling Nuba militia aligned to the SPLA, the ex-rebel army of the south.

Khartoum says there is a rebellion going on within its borders that it intends to crush.

The 19-page UN report cites specific instances where the army allegedly attacked civilians and churches, carried out summary executions, torture and intimidation, and bombed civilian targets in a campaign.

If the attacks do not stop they will "dissipate the Nuba population," the report said.

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