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Thousands flee fighting in Sudan's Kordofan

Thousands of people have fled renewed fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, adding to hundreds of thousands uprooted by conflict in the Darfur region this year, the UN said on Thursday. Clashes between government forces and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N)in South Kordofan's Rashad district displaced about 6,700 civilians, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its weekly bulletin. It cited data from Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission.

Sudan seeks probe into killing of nationals in S.Sudan

Sudan called on Thursday for an investigation into the "assassination" of its nationals in a South Sudan oil town, where the UN has accused rebels of killing hundreds of civilians. "The foreign ministry condemns assassination of the Sudanese nationals in Bentiu and calls for urgent investigation", the official SUNA news agency said in an SMS alert.

South Sudan rebels say closing in on oil fields

Rebels in South Sudan said Thursday they were closing in on key oil fields and two state capitals, predicting an imminent collapse of the government and a "bloodbath". A statement from the rebel's spokesman, General Lul Ruai Koang, said forces battling President Salva Kiir captured the town of Renk, close to the border with Sudan, on Wednesday and were advancing on the Paloich oil fields.

U.N. Security Council members mulling South Sudan sanctions

By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Security Council members are considering sanctions on South Sudan's warring parties, envoys said on Wednesday, after U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous demanded "serious consequences" be imposed to force an end to the violence.

'One Heart' radio's rare voice for peace in C.Africa

The premises of Be-Oko ("One Heart") radio in the town of Bambari are miserable but its mission immense: amid brutal sectarian violence, its call for peace hopes to stop this town in the Central African Republic from tearing itself apart. Crumbling walls stripped of paint, the harsh glare of too-bright neon attracting hundreds of insects, a fan wedged between a couple of large stones and a long-dead computer covered with a rag: the station's headquarters is not an impressive sight.

South Sudan sacks army chief after rebels seize oil hub

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir sacked his army chief on Wednesday after rebels seized a major oil hub, unleashing two days of ethnic slaughter in which the UN says hundreds of civilians were massacred. Rebels loyal to sacked vice president Riek Machar seized Bentiu last week. The United Nations says they hunted down civilians sheltering in mosques, churches and a hospital, in a wave of ethnic killings.

France, US back sanctions against S.Sudan

France and the United States called Wednesday for the UN Security Council to consider sanctions against South Sudan over spiraling violence in the country's civil war, diplomats said. US ambassador Samantha Power relayed Washington's position in a closed-door meeting of the 15-member Council, diplomats said, and France's Gerard Araud told reporters before the session that it was time to think about sanctions against those responsible. "I think we should consider sanctions because it is horrendous," he said.

France, US back sanctions against S.Sudan

France and the United States called Wednesday for the UN Security Council to consider sanctions against South Sudan over spiraling violence in the country's civil war, diplomats said. US ambassador Samantha Power relayed Washington's position in a closed-door meeting of the 15-member Council, diplomats said, and France's Gerard Araud told reporters before the session that it was time to think about sanctions against those responsible. "I think we should consider sanctions because it is horrendous," he said.

Malians who sang out against conflict get Songlines honors

By Angus MacSwan LONDON (Reuters) - Malian ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate, whose album "Jama Ko" urged his countrymen to stand together just as Mali erupted in conflict, has won the Best Artist accolade in the annual awards for world music magazine Songlines. Tuareg band Tamikrest, who decried the ravages of the war in their album "Chatma", won the Best Group category.

Washington calls S.Sudan violence an 'abomination'

The White House has expressed horror at what it called the "abomination" of spiralling violence in South Sudan's civil war, where rebels have been accused of massacring hundreds of civilians. The rebels seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week, unleashing two days of ethnic slaughter as they hunted down civilians sheltering in mosques, churches and a hospital, butchering dozens on the roadside, according to the United Nations.
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