WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) — An advocacy group said Wednesday it confirmed the burial of human remains in the restive Sudanese state of South Kordofan.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced a two-week cease-fire in South Kordofan to allow time for the observation of suspected South Sudanese rebels.
Conflict in the border state erupted as South Sudan prepared for its inaugural Independence Day. U.N. human rights teams investigating the situation said much of the conflict in the area appeared to be ethnically motivated.
The Satellite Sentinel Project announced it confirmed human remains were buried in sites believed to be mass graves in South Kordofan. The SSP said it had evidence to suggest the Sudanese Red Crescent Society was linked to the atrocities.
“Acting on instructions from the State of South Kordofan, the SRCS used an excavator to dig and cover large pits,” the group said in a statement. “In some cases, eyewitnesses reported, SRCS workers poured fuel on dead bodies and set them on fire.”
Dafalla al-Haj, the Sudanese representative to the United Nations, said a recent report from U.N. human rights officials on South Kordofan state was based on hearsay and didn’t reflect the situation on the ground, the official Sudan News Agency reported this week.
U.N. officials said there was evidence that at least 150 bodies were discovered in South Kordofan.
South Sudan’s independence was part of a comprehensive peace deal reached in 2005 that helped end Sudan’s civil war, one of the bloodiest in world history.