KHARTOUM - The United Nations is deeply concerned about reports of armed groups raiding and looting markets in Sudan's North Kordofan state, forcing civilians to flee and marking a possible escalation of violence in borderlands.
Rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) from the Western region of Darfur are thought to be behind the violence, a UN source said on Thursday. JEM confirmed it had troops in North Kordofan but denied it had raided any markets.The army has been fighting rebels of the SPLM-North in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, forcing almost 200,000 civilians to flee to neighbouring South Sudan and Ethiopia.
North Kordofan lies north of South Kordofan and is much closer to the capital Khartoum. Rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM), JEM and other rebels from Darfur have formed an alliance to topple Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.