In June 2011, conflict broke out again between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N) in the state of South Kordofan, on the border with new Republic of South Sudan. Tensions spread to the border state of Blue Nile in September 2011. The conflict has had devastating consequences for civilians in these areas. Over 130,000 civilians have fled the two states, crossing into neighbouring Ethiopia or the Republic of South Sudan to escape the fighting.
This Briefing Note examines the humanitarian situation in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states and highlights the following issues:
· The humanitarian situation in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states is approaching crisis levels in some areas, with serious threats to the physical safety of civilians, restricted access for humanitarian organisations and escalating humanitarian needs.
· The current conflict is rooted in long-standing grievances that were not resolved through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM).
· A strengthened international humanitarian response is urgently needed to address escalating humanitarian and protection needs – requiring stronger leadership and engagement with the conflict parties on their responsibilities to protect civilians and to facilitate humanitarian access.
· Drawing on experiences of the previous conflict in this region, significant diplomatic efforts are now required to restart a political dialogue between the parties inclusive of civil society, aimed at finding a long-term peaceful resolution to the conflict.