n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - The forgotten battles for South Kordofan and Kailek - : East Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 06
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Sudan and South Sudan are familiar names in recent African conflict history. With the 2003 genocide in Darfur prompting a significant response by the international community, an ongoing post-independence focus on oil-sharing agreements, and the United Nations (UN) Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), there is a plethora of media and state attention deservedly paid towards the two states. But within Sudan are two largely-unreported wars that have been waged prior to the 2011 secession by South Sudan. For South Kordofan, a region incorporating the oil-rich and strategically-controversial Abyei area, this means that the area will remain strategically-contentious for both north and south. However, a campaign by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) to eradicate the pro-south Kordofan villagers means that widespread violence has resulted in some 450,000 refugees streaming towards South Sudan. This example was preceded by Kailek, a far more direct method of exterminating the area's residents by Janjaweed militia who killed 5,000-odd villagers in 2004; killings which went almost completely unreported by media and non-profit organisations, and which were indeed scarcely mentioned by the UN itself.

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