By: Alysha Atma
Blue Nile, Sudan, an area that has seen continued conflict for decades is once again hearing the sounds of war. According to on ground sources, fighting has sparked again early Friday, September 02, 2011 among the Northern Sudanese forces (NCP) and the SPLA/M – Sudanese People’s Liberation Army/Movement.
The north began deploying forces in the area several months ago. In January 2011, many areas of Sudan were under vote; the South has voted for Independence from the North and is now the world’s newest country. Two other areas that lie among the still disputed demarcation border; South Kordofan and Blue Nile both voted for autonomy within the north.
“The NCP has insisted that we are part of the North therefore they have declared they do not want to see any SPLA/M, in the region. We are to become part of the North, they are asking for total disarmament and if we do not they will disarm us by force. We don’t want to be part of a government that is so unjust to its people.” said, Kurmuk County Commissioner Stephen Amath Dicko.
At approximately midnight NCP forces began firing shots at officials from the Joint Integrated Units. According to sources the gun shots rang out at passing cars heading from a meeting into the capital of Ad-Damazin. Fortunately no one was killed, however shortly after the NCP forces began a bombardment of all SPLA strongholds as well as the house of Blue Nile governor Malik Agar. Bloomberg wire confirms SPLA returned fire at the NCP and the governor was able to get to safety.
Sudan Tribune reported “in the past four days the Sudanese government had deployed reinforcements consisting of one infantry brigade, 12 tanks and 40 armed vehicles into the area.”
President Al-Bashir’s recent announcement of a ceasefire does not seem to ring true.
This reporter was on the phone last night with Mr. Stephen Amath Dicko, commissioner to Kurmuk County. The commissioner had just left the Governor at a secure location and was on his way to the hospital.
He confirmed that minutes prior Antonovs had been dropping bombs in the area killing one man and injuring his wife.
While speaking to this reporter the Commissioner began stopping people along the road “it is unknown and difficult to point an exact time, people must not group together and they must get safe”. He was expecting longer and larger air attacks at any moment as this is a known war tactic of the North.
The Commissioner did get to the hospital to check on the victim and comfort her as she lost her husband.
His anger is justified, as he watches his people being attacked, watching them flee farther south for safety. Seeing that many are stuck along the Ethiopian border, these citizens love their home and do not want to leave but must to stay alive.
“The injustice has been so chronic here in Kurmuk. The people who support SPLA/M do not want to be part of the NCP, that government has been unjust. Given the situation many have fled, they fear more war. Many are starving as they could not grow crops to feed their families because of the insecurity. I wish to tell the American people, the American government there has been a history of inequality, war after war after war. I am calling for humanitarian aid, please send food and medical aid; I am expecting the worst…”