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Sudan forms taskforce to ‘monitor’ South Kordofan’s situation


August 21, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan has established a committee to monitor the situation in the country’s war-stricken region of Kordofan and forestall allegations of abuses raised by international quarters, a spokesman said on Sunday.

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A hugh explosion near a United Nations compound in South Kordofan state, Tuesday, June 14, 2011 (AP)

Western nations led by the United States have been lobbying to bring the UN Security Council to condemn the Sudanese government for atrocities allegedly committed in South Kordofan where the country’s army has been fighting rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) since early June. But Sudan’s allies, namely China and Russia, have so far managed to block these attempts.

The fighting, which erupted after Sudan’s army threatened to disarm the rebels who are aligned with South Sudan, have led to the killing, injury and displacement of at least 200,000 people, according to UN figures.

Sudan’s official spokesman of the foreign ministry Al-Ubayd Muroah told reporters in Khartoum on Sunday that the committee would be under the supervision of the ministry and comprise representatives of the ministry of defense, ministry humanitarian affairs, ministry of justice, ministry of media and the National Intelligence and Security Services.

The purpose of the body, according to Muroah, is to refute the “baseless” accusations instigated by some countries against Sudan in order to bring the UN Security Council and Human Rights council to denounce the government.

Muroah said that the committee would monitor the humanitarian, political and media developments in South Kordofan and formulate recommendations on how to deal with these developments. He further added that the committee would maintain constant contacts with Sudan’s diplomatic missions in New York, Geneva and Addis Ababa.

A UN report last week documented wide-ranging atrocities it alleges were committed by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and its allied paramilitary forces during South Kordofan’s conflict. The report said that the actions could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, calling for an independent probe into the situation.

The UN Security Council convened a closed-doors session on Friday to discuss the UN report on South Kordofan as Sudan protested the move, saying it has ulterior motives. The country’s senior presidential assistant Nafi Ali Nafi said that Sudan would not let international shrieks over the matter distract it from quelling the rebellion.

Sudan this week agreed to let six UN agencies, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the World Food Program, World Health Organization and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to access South Kordofan under local supervision in order to assess the humanitarian needs in the state.


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