Sudanese attacks force 8,000 from homes

Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- More than 8,000 people in southern Sudan fled their villages after the Sudanese army resumed air and ground attacks during the weekend, officials said.

An attack on the village of Muffa and the surrounding area forced villagers in Blue Nile state across the border into Ethiopia and South Sudan, the Sudan Tribune reported Sunday.

The attacks, which began Feb. 14, have displaced 70 percent of the residents of Blue Nile state, said Yasir Arman, secretary general of the rebel Sudan people's Liberation Movement North. About 200,000 people from the region are now refugees in Ethiopia and South Sudan, he said.

Arman, who is now in the United States to meet with members of Congress and citizens' groups, said the attacks were in line with Khartoum's "scorched earth policy." He blamed the international community for failing to act aggressively to get the Sudanese government to allow humanitarian access to people displaced by the fighting.

"If we do not call that a war crime, what do we call it in international humanitarian law?" Arman asked.

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