The Darfur Consortium

. . .




Local communities document deliberate targeting of civilians through aerial bombardment in Southern Kordofan

(Addis Ababa, 23 May 2013) A briefing by a group of local monitors circulated today by the Sudan Consortium alleges that civilians are being directly and deliberately targeted by the Sudanese armed forces in Southern Kordofan.

Distributed as preparations gear up for the arrival of Heads of State in Ethiopia for the 10th Anniversary celebrations of the African Union, the briefing remindsthe African Union that ongoing conflict, violence, and humanitarian and human rights crises in Sudan require their continued engagement.

Along with photographs taken by monitors in the aftermath of the incidents described, the briefing documents a series of bombing attacks in Southern Kordofan in late 2012/early 2013, with the most recent taking place on 19 March 2013.

Based on analysis of the pattern of attacks over the last six months in areas to which the monitors have access, the briefing suggests that:
  • the Government of Sudan continues to launch direct aerial bombing attacks on civilian areas and the civilian population in Southern Kordofan – primarily through the use of crudely constructed (and inherently indiscriminate) barrel-bombs which contain a mixture of flammable liquid and pieces of scrap metal, which are rolled out of the back of Sudanese Air Force (SAF) Antonov bomber aircraft from high altitude;
  • the attacks have resulted in the destruction of communal amenities and other essential civilian infrastructure necessary to sustain the basic survival of the civilian population, including water-points, markets, schools, clinics and places of worship;
  • the timing and geographical spread in the pattern of these aerial bombing attacks appears to indicate a deliberate intention to disrupt the planting and harvesting of food crops, in addition to food distribution (eg. the bombing of markets on market days) in SPLM-N held areas.
The Sudan Consortium  has been working with a trusted group of local Sudanese partners who have been working on the ground in Southern Kordofan since the current conflict began in late 2011.

Read the full briefing here.
**Warning some of the photos in the briefing are disturbing**

Background

Since the outbreak of conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan in 2011, multiple credible allegations have been made—and continue to be made—of the commission of human rights violations and atrocity crimes in, and related to, the conflicts.  The allegations of prohibited conduct include: intentional attacks against civilians (in particular through shelling and bombing of civilian areas), unlawful killings of civilians, torture, forcible displacement of civilian populations, and persecution. In some instances these acts appear to have been committed as part of widespread or systematic attacks directed against civilian populations.

Although allegations of violations have been made against both sides of the conflict, the overwhelming majority of the allegations and other relevant information appear to implicate forces of the government of Sudan and aligned armed groups. The Government of Sudan is lawfully permitted to use force in response to armed action by others on its territory. However, the means and methods it may employ are not unfettered: a fundamental norm of international humanitarian law is that civilians should not be the object of attack. The human toll of this strategy has been enormous with some estimates of over a million and a quarter displaced internally and as refugees and hundreds of thousands facing a humanitarian emergency. With farmers having been prevented in many places from cultivating crops through 2012, with the most recent growing season having been severely affected by drought, and with the ability to harvest affected by continued bombings, food insecurity has significantly increased. An assessment at the end of 2012 indicated that 81% of households in the SPLM-N controlled areas of Southern Kordofan survive on one meal a day, while 73% have no income to purchase food.

Despite the signature of a Joint African Union/League of Arab States/United Nations Proposal for Access to Provide and Deliver Humanitarian Assistance to War-Affected Civilians in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States in February 2012 and subsequent memoranda of understanding relating to the implementation of the agreement, the Government of Sudan continues to deny formal access by humanitarian organisations into those areas of Southern Kordofan that are currently under the control of SPLM-N.

ENDS 

Read the full briefing here.

**Warning some of the photos in the briefing are disturbing**

 

 

 

 

 

African Voices
Sudan 365 - number of days to the referendum in Sudan

1 TOGO SANS ETHNIES

Action Professionals Association for the People

Aegis Trust Rwanda

African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies

African Center for Development

African Center for Justice and Peace Studies

Africa Internally Displaced Persons Voice (Africa IDP Voice)

African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR)

African Women's Development and Communications Network (FEMNET)

The Ahueni Foundation

Alliances for Africa

Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies

Andalus Institute for Tolerance

Anti-Slavery International

Arab Coalition for Darfur

Arab Program for Human Rights Activists

Association Africaine de Defense des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO)

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE)

Centre for Research Education and Development of Freedom of Expression and Associated Rights (CREDO)

Citizens for Global Solutions

Conscience International

Conseil National Pour les Libertés en Tunisie

Darfur Alert Coalition (DAC)

Darfur Centre for Human Rights and Development

Darfur Leaders Network (DLN)

Darfur Reconciliation and Development Organization (DRDO)

Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre

East Africa Law Society

Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

Femmes Africa Solidarité

La Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH)

Forum of African Affairs (FOAA)

Human Rights First

Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)

Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa

Institute for Security Studies

Inter-African Union for Human Rights (UIDH)

Interights

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya)

International Refugee Rights Initiative

Justice Africa

Justice and Peace Commission

Lawyers for Human Rights

Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections

Legal Resources Consortium-Nigeria

Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l'Homme

Makumira University College, Tumaini University

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)

Minority Rights Group

National Association of Seadogs

Never Again International

Open Society Justice Initiative

Pan-African Movement

Rencontre Africaine Pour la Defense des Droits de l'Homme (RADDHO)

Sierra Leone STAND Chapter

Sisters' Arabic Forum for Human Rights (SAF)

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)

Sudan Organization Against Torture (SOAT)

Syrian Organization for Human Rights

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

Universal Human Rights Network

WARIPNET

Women Initiative Nigeria (WIN)

 
 
©2007 Darfur Consortium. Design by Deirdre Reznik