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Border Violence Bodes Ill In Sudan


In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 photo, men walk through the a market in Damazin, the regional capital of the Blue Nile region, south east of Khartoum, Sudan. The area has been the site of clashes between government troops from Sudan's Arab north and black

U.S. remains deeply concerned about the fighting, reports of recent bombings in civilian areas by the Sudanese armed forces and the resultant humanitarian crisis.

Sudanese government troops and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North, or SPLM/A-N, have been fighting since early June in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan State. On September 1, the violence escalated, spreading to neighboring Blue Nile state.

The these territories along the border with newly-independent South Sudan were sites of major fighting during Sudan’s civil war and continue to be flashpoints for instability. The United States remains deeply concerned about the fighting, reports of recent bombings in civilian areas by the Sudanese armed forces and the resultant humanitarian crisis.

The U.S. calls on the leaders of the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A-N to cease offensive military actions, particularly aerial bombing of civilian areas, allow unfettered access for international humanitarian actors, and return to talks on a negotiated political and military settlement, including a cessation of hostilities agreement.

We strongly support the efforts of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and UN Special Envoy Haile Menkerios in their efforts to bring the parties back to the negotiating table. Any sustainable resolution of issues between the parties must simultaneously address the immediate political and security situation in the two states as well as the broader national context.

Further, accountability for human rights violations and war crimes that may have occurred during recent violence is central to lasting resolution of the conflict. We will continue to support an independent investigation of atrocities that will contribute to efforts to bring those responsible to account.

The United States is also concerned over allegations of support from the government of South Sudan to military forces aligned with Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North in Southern Kordofan. If true, such actions serve only to prolong both the violence and hinder negotiations for a political settlement that is in the best interest of all parties.

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