Human Rights Update: March through May 2017

While airstrikes have eased, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the government sponsored Popular Defence Forces militia continue to breach ceasefire through violent looting incursions into SPLA/M-N controlled areas of Southern Kordofan.

The months of March, April and May 2017 were still under the ceasefire agreement which began last year and all incidents reported here constitute a breach of the ceasefire. A four month unilateral ceasefire was first declared by Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir on 17 June 2016 and extended in October to the end of 2016. Following the partial lifting of sanctions on Sudan by the US in January 2017, the ceasefire was extended by another six months.

Due to the ongoing ceasefire, the situation in Southern Kordofan (SK) and Blue Nile (BN) states has been relatively calm, by the area’s standards, mainly as a result of the lack of aerial bombardment of civilian areas. However, this period has been characterised by the looting of livestock (i.e. goats, sheep and cattle) in SK, undermining peoples’ livelihoods at a time of drought and ensuing food insecurity. Almost every household in SK has livestock and while only richer households hold cattle, most others will hold 30-70 goats and 20-40 sheep. The poorer households will have much less. Unfortunately, whenever there is looting all animals that are owned by the household(s) concerned are taken.

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