A United Nations inquiry into recent violence in Sudan has found evidence of crimes against humanity, human rights violations, and possible ethnic cleansing in the state of Southern Kordofan.
In the preliminary report -- a joint effort by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the former U.N. Mission in Sudan -- the U.N. said that it received eyewitness accounts of" violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention, enforced disappearances, attacks against civilians, looting of civilian homes and destruction of property."
After conducting a small, on-the-group inquiry, the U.N. stated the a full-scale inquisition into the events is required, and that any party found guilty needs to be held responsible.
“These flagrant and repeated violations of international conventions as well as specific agreements with the Government of Sudan concerning the privileges and immunities under which the UN operates are an extremely serious matter which cannot be left unresolved or unpunished,” said the High Commissioner.
The initial investigation started after the U.N. received a number of troubling reports after violence escalated in the Southern Kordofan state this spring. The Sudan Mission was told of Indiscriminate killings and use of prohibited weapons, including chemical weapons used against civilians in tribal villages by Sudan's S.A.F. army.
Fighting, allegedly ordered by President Omar al-Bashir, started in the region in June. The full Southern Kordofan report details about 40 individual instances of violence over a month-long period, which, if true, reveals a shocking chronicle of violence.
There are instances of hospital stabbings, an assault on a church, public executions and mass graves. The atrocities cannot solely be blamed on Bashir and his Sudanese forces. Both Sudan and South Sudan armies are named in the report, and are said to have placed anti-personnel land mines inside Kadugli town and to have shot civilians.
"What [the report] suggests has been happening in Southern Kordofan is so serious that it is essential there is an independent, thorough and objective inquiry with the aim of holding perpetrators to account,” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
There around about 2.5 million people living in Southern Kordofan, with more than 100 distinct ethnic communities. The state is part of Sudan, but many of its people are loyal to the newly independent nation of South Sudan. South Sudan became the world's newest country in July, about a week after violence between the two nations stopped.
The U.N. confirmed S.A.F bombing campaigns Nuba mountains, where the Nuba people live. The Nubans fought with South Sudan's People's Liberation Army in the 1983-2005 civil war.