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Obama calls for cease-fire in Sudan

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Obama calls for cease-fire in Sudan

Fighting causing humanitarian crisis

  • Civilians have been displaced by fighting between the North and South in Sudan.
    AlJazeeraEnglish screengrabCivilians have been displaced by fighting between the North and South in Sudan.

President Obama called for a cease-fire in Sudan on Tuesday amid a surge in fighting in the South Kordofan region.

He said in a recorded audio message Tuesday that the North and South must work to prevent another civil war.

"There is no military solution; the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan must live up to the responsibilities," he said as reported by BBC. "The government of Sudan must prevent a further escalation of this crisis by ceasing its military actions immediately, including aerial bombardments, forced displacements and campaigns of intimidation."

Sudan has seen increased fighting that has led to the displacement of thousands of people in recent days, BBC reports. The northern military has reportedly been using artillery and aircraft to fight southern-aligned groups it calls rebels.

The fighting comes weeks before South Sudan's independence on July 9.

The United Nations said an air strike campaign in South Kordofan is causing "huge suffering" to civilian populations, the Guardian reports.

"This bombing campaign is causing huge suffering to civilian populations and endangering humanitarian assistance," U.N. Mission in Sudan spokesman Kouider Zerrouk reportedly said.

"We reiterate our call on the SAF, SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army) and other armed groups who are involved in this conflict to immediately allow access to humanitarian agencies and stop indiscriminate military attacks against civilians and protect them in accordance with international law."

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Al Jazeera video shows thousands displaced in South Kordofan sleeping on the ground with nothing more than tents.

"I didn't bring anything from my house," one refugee says. "I have three daughters and I don't know how to feed them."

Meanwhile, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir faces fresh allegations of ethnic cleansing, murder and rape for his army's attacks in border areas, reports GlobalPost's Tristan McConnell.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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barack obama, south sudan, sudan, u.n.

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