Deputy Spokesperson Toner on Security and Humanitarian Situation in Southern Kordofan, Sudan

The United States is deeply concerned by the rapid and significant deterioration in the security and humanitarian situation in the Southern Kordofan state of Sudan. The Government of Sudan has denied humanitarian flights permission to land in Kadugli for nearly one week. Roadblocks manned by Sudanese Armed Forces and Sudan People’s Liberation Army troops are obstructing access by land. Facilities used by the World Food Programme and World Health Organization in Kadugli have been looted. We deplore these acts and call on the parties to immediately allow full and unfettered access for aid workers to provide much needed humanitarian assistance to tens of thousands of people displaced from their homes and made vulnerable by renewed conflict.

We are equally concerned by reports indicating intensified aerial bombings of mountainous areas to the south and west of Kadugli and a build-up of military forces in the area. The United States condemns any escalation of the military crisis. If Sudan chooses to escalate further the situation and pursue a military solution to the future status of Abyei and Southern Kordofan, the United States will not move forward on the roadmap to normalization of relations and Sudan will face deeper international isolation.

As Secretary Clinton communicated personally to the parties yesterday, it is imperative that northern and southern Sudanese leaders agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities, allow humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable populations, and work cooperatively to reach a peaceful resolution of Abyei and Southern Kordofan’s future status through the on-going dialogue facilitated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel.

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