The South Kordofan and the Blue Nile regions in the Southern part of Sudan are engaged in an ongoing armed conflict in the Sudanese southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile between the Army of Sudan (SAF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), a northern affiliate of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South Sudan. After some years of relative calm in the region, fighting broke out in 2011, when South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, gained its independence from the Republic of the Sudan in 2011. SPLM-N took up arms against the inclusion of the two southern states in Sudan with no popular consultation and no democratic elections.
As of October 2014, some two million people have been affected by the conflict, with more than 500,000 having been displaced and about 250,000 of them fleeing to South Sudan and Ethiopia.
Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) visited Blue Nile in January 2018, meeting community leaders, activists and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). In their report, they note that “Acute shortages of food and no access to healthcare or education are resulting in overwhelming manmade need and suffering.
“Two main issues emerged through our discussions:
“1. The belief that the GoS [Government of Sudan] will continue military offensives against the people of Blue Nile
” 2. Cross-border aid is essential to the long-term survival of people in Blue Nile.”
The Report recommends that:
“The GoS should allow cross-border aid to reach Blue Nile to enable the survival of the civilians,
who are not able to trust aid sent from Khartoum (due to their experience of the GoS
sustained genocidal policies perpetrated against them for so many years). The Khartoum
Government’s refusal to allow this demonstrates failure to comply with the conditions
required by the US for the lifting of sanctions.
“The UK Government should cease to adopt policies, including the promotion of trade links
with the GoS, which provide credibility and support for the regime until they allow crossborder
aid to reach the vulnerable civilians in the Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains; and
encourage other Governments, especially the US, to do the same.
“The International Community should acknowledge the suffering of the people of Blue Nile
and the unacceptability of the GoS position – and fulfil its obligations to ‘provide and protect’.
Urgent action is needed to provide the food and health care for these civilians which they
desperately and urgently need.”