Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September 2014, 16:29 GMT

Sudan/South Sudan: 20,000 people displaced by clashes over oil territory

Publisher Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
Publication Date 3 May 2012
Cite as Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), Sudan/South Sudan: 20,000 people displaced by clashes over oil territory, 3 May 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fa252f52.html [accessed 24 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to humanitarian sources, some 20,000 people have been displaced since April 20 by fighting between Sudanese and South Sudanese armed forces in the border areas around the Heglig oil region in South Kordofan, Sudan.

In retaliation to the occupation of Heglig for 10 days by the South Sudanese in a bid to assert claims over the disputed territory, the Sudanese army launched air strikes from across the border in Unity State. The occupation ended on April 20 but cross-border air raids have continued. While this event has added significantly to the numbers of people uprooted from their homes, elsewhere in South Kordofan an escalation in fighting between Sudanese forces and rebels from the SPLM-N has also caused further displacement.

Since South Sudan's independence in July last year, the on-going cross-border fighting continues to disrupt movements of returnees from Sudan to South Sudan. While the IOM reports that up to 375,000 have returned to the south, the UN estimates that some 700,000 southerners, who had been internally displaced before secession of South Sudan, remained in Khartoum at the end of 2011. Despite an established deadline for southerners residing in Sudan to regularise their status by 8 April 2012, this group remain in legal limbo in Sudan and risks being exposed arrest and detention on immigration charges.

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