After the January referendum results were announced in February and it was learned that the overwhelming majority of Southern Sudanese were in favor of seceding from Sudan and forming a new country there were worries that violence would be renewed between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the north and Nuba-SPLA (Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army) in the south. Yet, immediately after the announcement violence was kept to a minimum and the world prepared for a new independent republic to be formed July 9, 2011 in the area currently known as Southern Sudan.

Unfortunately, this calm was broken this past week with fighting between the SAF and SPLA taking place in the region of South Kordofan, which rests on the border that will exist between the to-be-created republic and the country of Sudan. There have also been reports that this violence has spilled over to include a high number of civilian casualities. According to a June 11 OCHA Report over 50,000 people have been displaced because of the violence with around 6,000 finding refuge at the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) compound on the outskirts of Kadugli.

With much of the humanitarian and press core communities being kept out of the country reports are spotty and aid is scarce. As we learn more we will continue to post updates. In the meantime please keep the people of Sudan in prayer as the innocent fall victim to the ruthless ambitions of the few and as a new country strarts to find its footing in this volatile area.

To learn more check out the ELCA Disaster Response page Sudan: South Kordofan Conflict. To get involved see the ELCA’s Washington Office’s Action Alert.

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