Sudan declares state of emergency

2011-09-03 14:27
Khartoum - Sudan declared a state of emergency in the Blue Nile state, local media reported on Saturday, following unrest in the region and calls for calm by the UN.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir also sacked the state's governor Malik Agar, a leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) which is aligned with the newly independent south. The president instead appointed a military ruler.

Agar's home was attacked on Friday as part of the latest round of fighting in the region which borders South Sudan.

There were reports of the Sudanese air force conducting aerial bombardments of supposed SPLM areas.

It has yet to be determined in which country Blue Nile state will be, after South Sudan split from Sudan and became independent in July. Two other flash-point regions, Abyei and South Kordofan, are also in limbo and regularly witness unrest.

Khartoum accused the southern government of aiding rebel groups who were launching attacks on its military, while Juba says northern soldiers fired the first volleys in Blue Nile.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he is "deeply concerned" by fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile and called for an end to hostilities.

Separately, earlier on Saturday the government in South Sudan announced it would switch its capital city from Juba to Ramciel.

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