The Global Post: TESS, Sudan — The United States and the UN are scrambling to get food to this conflict zone where an estimated 500,000 people are at risk of starvation.
But Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s Khartoum government is standing in their way, creating a potentially deadly impasse. Sudan is waging two wars: it is bombing rebels in its own South Kordofan state and it is also bombing parts of the new country, South Sudan.
Although a proxy war has raged for months, direct clashes between the two countries — Sudan and the new nation, South Sudan — erupted Tuesday, making it even more difficult to plan food aid deliveries. The food emergency is a classic example of a civilian population suffering as a result of battles between a government and a rebel force.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday condemned Sudan’s bombing raids as “disproportionate force.”
Actor George Clooney last week warned of an impending disaster for civilians caught in the crossfire. Clooney was so alarmed after visiting this area recently that he protested in front of the Sudanese embassy in Washington and was arrested.
Here in South Kordofan, the bombed out villages and cratered fields show why the rural population has not been able to grow crops.
The Arab League, African Union and the UN have urged Bashir to allow food deliveries. But the regime has so far refused, arguing that aid could be diverted to rebels of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-North. The Sudanese government looks determined to continue its bombing campaign.