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Women and children flee Sudan bombing

Government bombing around Sudan’s north south border has forced thousands of people to leave their homes and run for the hills.

Entire communities are seeking refuge in the Nuba Mountains, at the heart of Southern Kordofan state, which borders South Sudan. The government says it is targeting armed rebels, but the bombers it is using are causing widespread destruction and leaving many children injured. Mother of four, Iqbal al-Nur’s whole village fled to the mountains for safety. She gave birth to Ambu, under a rock shortly after arriving a week ago. "We took what we could carry and came here to escape the planes," she said. "As long as the bombing continues, we will stay." "I am scared Ambu is going to get sick here with the rain and wind," she told the Independent. "I hate it here but we have no way out."

Beneath the mountains, towns and villages lie deserted. The end of the north African country’s long civil war, which brought independence last week for South Sudan, has changed hardly anything in the region, one of the least developed areas in Africa. Many people from Nuba fought alongside the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), which is now forming the world's newest government in Juba the capital of the new south Sudan. But the Nuba Mountains are still under the control of Khartoum the northern capital, and most prefer their wartime allegiance to the rebels over the Arab-led central government. The SPLA’s goal was to reform the whole country, creating a new Sudan, a secular state where diversity was respected.

Earlier this week Sudan's President, Omar al-Bashir, welcomed the birth of South and promised said he would hold "popular consultations" in South Kordofan. He told people to go back to their homes because the fighting was over.But Hussein al-Amin a village leader in the Tonguli mountains is furious at what was said: "We have no roads, no schools, no hospitals; this government gave us nothing. Now they bomb us and they keep bombing us even as we run away from our homes."

People fleeing the bombing have fled to the mountains from all over the northern Nuba, he said and more are arriving every day. People from two towns and at least seven villages are living in the rocks. He is worried about disease and asked if people outside Sudan can "stop the bombing".

Hayley attribution