Angartu, Sudan - During the biggest escalation in hostilities since the start of the war in 2011, Sudanese government forces (SAF) came within 20km of the rebel stronghold Kauda in Sudan's South Kordofan state.
SAF shelled the front line town of Angartu and rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army-North (SPLA-North) evacuated all civilians from the area. About 4,000 people were relocated to safer rebel-held territory in the bush closer to Kauda.
A nine-day battle in early January ensued, in which SAF forces captured Angartu and were heading for Kauda, until SPLA-North troops managed to push them back.
According to rebel commander Aburass Albino Kuku, his group of 400 men outfought an SAF force of up to 2,000 soldiers.
The town of Angartu, although back under rebel control, lies empty and destroyed. Civilians cannot return and instead are camped in the bush with limited access to shelter, food and water.
The government from the capital Khartoum has been waging war in these hills for three years against the Nuba opposition group SPLA-North, which controls much of this territory.
The Sudanese government forbids access for journalists and international relief organisations and restricts all humanitarian aid.