The UN is investigating clashes that have broken out in Sudan’s oil-producing state of South Kordofan.
The volatile region is on the northern side of the border with South Sudan but is home to many who fought for the south in Sudan’s long civil war.
Tensions have been rising ahead of South Sudan’s formal independence from the north in July.
Flashpoint issues include the exact position of the common border and the fate of the disputed Abyei region.
UN officials in Sudan said gunmen looted weapons from a police station in Kadugli, South Kordofan’s capital. Hours later there was a gunfight in a village about 48km (30 miles) from Kadugli.
It was not clear if the two events were connected.
South Kordofan is controlled by the north but is home to many southern-allied soldiers. The state was on the front lines during Sudan’s protracted civil war.
The governing party in South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), blamed northern military forces for the clashes.
They said the fighting involved northern soldiers rebelling against orders to disarm the southern-allied soldiers.
Analysts say the Khartoum government in northern Sudan is trying to assert its authority over the border regions ahead of South Sudan’s formal declaration of independence, scheduled for July.
A January referendum on its independence was the result of the 2005 peace deal that ended the civil war.
On 21 May, northern troops and militias entered the disputed border region of Abyei. Tens of thousands of people have fled as homes have been looted and burned.
Khartoum has ignored a call from the UN Security Council to withdraw its troops from Abyei.
By Peter Finn and Greg Miller,
The flight of Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to Saudi Arabia deprives the United States of a fitful ally in the fight against al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate and injects new uncertainty into counterterrorism operations that were already hampered by the country’s bloody internal strife, according to Yemen and security experts.
While Saudi Arabia, with U.S. backing, will almost certainly prevent Saleh’s return to Yemen, it is unclear who will replace him and whether there will be a change in attitude toward American efforts to target Islamic militants in the country.
Only the United States can enjoy the privilege of unlawful detentions and torture. Come on Libyan rebels, don’t tread on our turf.
- Robert Gates: “It’s only a matter of time” for Moammar Gadhafi
- British foreign secretary: TNC members are “genuine believers in democracy”
- Dozens of civilians are held for being loyal to Gadhafi, Human Rights Watch says
- The Libyan rebel leadership also is accused of humanitarian lapse in al-Obeidy situation
(CNN) — Libyan rebels are arbitrarily detaining dozens of civilians suspected of being loyal to ruler Moammar Gadhafi and are holding them without trial or due process, Human Rights Watch charged Sunday.
At least one person is thought to have died in custody, with his body showing signs of torture, the group said in a report based on visits to rebel-held parts of Libya.
It is difficult to tell exactly how many civilians are being held without charge because some are held by militias and because the rebels do not clearly distinguish between civilian detainees and captured pro-Gadhafi fighters, Human Rights Watch said.
The rebel Transitional National Council, based in Benghazi in eastern Libya, is seeking international support including money in its battle to oust Gadhafi. A NATO-led mission that has focused airstrikes on Gadhafi’s military capability bolsters the rebel efforts.
However, the Human Rights Watch report raised questions about the rebel leadership’s overall control of its forces and observation of human rights. In addition to the report, the United States expressed disappointment last week over the expulsion by Qatar of Eman al-Obeidy to Libya, a decision that it called a “breach of humanitarian norms.”
Al-Obeidy told a journalist that officials in the Transitional National Council had pressured the Qataris to expel her.
Al-Obeidy grabbed the world’s attention earlier this year when she accused Gadhafi’s security forces of gang-raping her. She then fled Libya and was in Qatar awaiting resettlement as a refugee when she was deported Thursday to Benghazi.
A high-level U.S. State Department source said Sunday al-Obeidy had left Libya and was on the way to Malta with her father. Al-Obeidy, who is being accompanied by a U.N. Human Rights Commission representative, will eventually head to a processing center in Europe before leaving for a final destination, the source said.
(CNN) — Two videos newly posted on YouTube show what Syrian opposition activists say is the gruesome slaughter of civilians in the besieged city of Daraa who had tried to feed people during a recent uprising.
One video shows what appears to be a group of Syrian security forces standing over dead bodies, making jokes and discussing planting weapons on them.
The gruesome images include the bloody, mangled bodies of five men in civilian clothes. They lie close together on a rooftop, in pools of blood. A group of men dressed in military uniforms walk around them, talking. “Show me those weapons,” one says, “put them here.”