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Grisly Details Of South Kordofan Recounted

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Ethnic cleansing is emerging as part of the growing humanitarian emergency unfolding along the border between Sudan and South Sudan, a U.S. panel was told.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., presided over a hearing before a House subcommittee on human rights in Africa. Witnesses said there were worrying trends emerging in the border region separating the two Sudans.

Human Rights Watch in a July report called on the U.N. Security Council to take measures to ensure international monitors could get access to South Kordofan state to verify claims of ethnic cleansing.

U.N. officials had said there was evidence that at least 150 bodies, which bore the characteristic skin color of Nuban descent, were discovered in the region, suggesting the conflict was ethnically motivated.

Satellite imagery reportedly depicts what are believed to be mass graves related to ethnic violence in South Kordofan state along the border between the two Sudans. Officials in the Sudanese government denied civilians were targeted in any attacks.

Smith’s panel heard what it described as “grisly” details of the crisis unfolding in South Kordofan.

“Whatever the numbers involved, we can be sure that the suffering of the people in South Kordofan, especially the Nuba people, has been catastrophic,” he said in a statement.

South Sudan gained independence in July as part of a comprehensive peace deal signed in 2005 that ended one of the bloodiest civil wars in world history. Border issues and oil continue to haunt the peace deal, however.

Sudan was accused Friday of blocking oil shipments out of South Sudan.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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