The conflict in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan (SK) state between the government and Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N), which started in June 2011, continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of civilians. Civilians have been killed, injured and displaced on a massive scale.
Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005, SK, along with the state of Blue Nile (BN) and the area of Abyei, were given special consideration. The CPA brought to an end the North-South civil war, and was intended to offer a broader framework for peaceful coexistence in Sudan. Unlike the South, these areas were not given referenda on independence. Instead, the status of SK and BN was to be decided through popular consultations and Abyei was to get its own referendum on whether to join the North or the South. However, Abyei never got its referendum and the popular consultation process in SK and BN was undermined. Political will to address the needs of these areas deteriorated and, combined with other unresolved issues in the CPA, tensions escalated in SK to the point that conflict broke out in June 2011.