Sudan Challenges South Kordofan Claims

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KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug. 19 (UPI) — Khartoum announced that it forwarded a letter to the United Nations challenging allegations of war crimes committed in South Kordofan.

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 reports.

U.N. officials said there was evidence that at least 150 bodies were discovered in South Kordofan, which borders South Sudan. The bodies bore the characteristic skin color of Nuban descent, suggesting the killings were ethnically motivated.

A report from the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights documents serious rights violations near the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. The report accuses the north’s armed forces and the south’s army of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other atrocities.

The Sudanese ambassador said the United Nations should wait to discuss the matter until Khartoum conducts its own investigation into the claims.

Sudan said earlier this week it dispatched government officials to the region to relay a message of peace.

The Satellite Sentinel Project, which had reported early evidence of crimes in South Kordofan, announced it had new reports based on visual evidence and witness accounts of more mass graves in the region.

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