South Kordofan is the unknown Darfur. Fighting between the Sudanese army and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)-North rebels began in June 2011 in the former region and in August 2011 in the latter. Accusing the current Sudanese government of marginalized South Kordofan and other border areas, the SPLM-North started the fighting in order to overthrow the current Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir, from power. The Sudanese government retaliated by sending its military, but also by arming civilians in the affected regions to fight against the rebels. The government has also accused recently independent South Sudan of supplying weapons to and supporting he rebel group and its various allies.
Due to the resources possessed, South Kordofan is an economically important area, as it is the only state in North Sudan producing oil. Another region suffering crimes against humanity is the Blue Nile, which has abundant mineral reserves, including chromium and gold. Mineral exploitation is currently considered as a viable alternative to oil production for Sudan.
Although enormous numbers of people have been affected by the current conflict and are in need of immediate assistance, the Sudanese government has blocked access of humanitarian assistance to the areas controlled by the SPLM-North.
Some 250,000 have already fled South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. Yida, South Sudan’s largest refugee camp, is experience in an influx of refugees arriving from South Kordofan, which have taken its population to almost 70,000. According to the International Rescue Committee, only in the early December, more than 4,500 refugees have been registered at Yida.