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Sudan conflict worsening food crisis

ROME, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Conflict along the border between Sudan and South Sudan is exacerbating a food crisis in the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, a U.N. agency said.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said urgent action was needed to prevent a food crisis in the two border states. The FAO said "erratic" rainfall in the region has dampened expectations for next month's harvest.

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The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in its most recent report on Sudan, said it wasn't able to get an accurate assessment about the situation in Blue Nile state because of lack of access.

Fighting among Sudanese factions is estimated to have displaced around 100,000 people. Displacement continues in South Kordofan, the U.N. agency said, but humanitarian groups were able to get some assistance to refugees in the area.

Border conflicts are plaguing the peace between Sudan and South Sudan, which became an independent nation in July as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended one of the bloodiest civil wars in human history.

"The latest fighting coupled with erratic rainfall means next month's harvest is expected to generally fail," the FAO said in a statement.

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Khartoum dismisses much of the concern over the fighting along the border, maintaining accounts of violence are overblown and the situation is under control.

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