US Condemns Violence in South Kordofan
By Advocacy Coordinator Maria Thomson
On Wednesday, August 31st, the United States State Department released a joint statement calling for the Government of Sudan to immediately cease its bombings in South Kordofan, and urged both northern and southern Sudanese governments to allow humanitarian access into the region:
The United States remains deeply concerned about reports of continued bombings of civilian areas in Southern Kordofan by the Sudanese Air Force, despite the Government of Sudan’s announcement of a unilateral two-week ceasefire last week. The United States urges the Government of Sudan to adhere to its commitment and to immediately cease aerial bombings, particularly of civilian areas.
We are also concerned over allegations of support from the Government of South Sudan to military forces aligned with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement–North in Southern Kordofan. The United States calls on both sides to allow unfettered humanitarian access to affected populations in Southern Kordofan and urges the parties to resume formal negotiations to reach a permanent cessation of hostilities and a political settlement.
The same day, the US Department of State also announced the appointment of Mary C. Yates as interim Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Khartoum, effective immediately. Yates will join current US Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman as part of the United States’ diplomatic team to Sudan. Both Yates’ appointment as well as the State Department’s intensifying calls for an end to violence in South Kordofan signal increasing efforts by the United States to apply diplomatic pressure on Sudan and South Sudan for their fulfillment of a peaceful transition into two distinct states.