12 June 2014

Sudan: U.S. Condemns 'Targeted Attacks On Civilians'

Photo: Amnesty International
Bombings have severely disrupted daily activities in Southern Kordofan, with civilians seeking shelter in foxholes and caves.

New York — The USA has called on all armed groups in Sudan to cease the attacks against civilians and comply with international law. A few days after the USA, the United Kingdom, and Norway, released a joint statement in which they hold he Sudanese government responsible for intensifying conflicts and targeting civilians in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Samantha Power, issued a press release denouncing the "targeted attacks on civilians" by the Sudanese government.

The USA "condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks by the Government of Sudan and its Rapid Support Forces (RSF) against civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile," the press release issued today (Thursday) states. "Since April, not only have ground attacks on, and the shelling of, civilian populations increased, but the Government of Sudan has intensified its air campaign, dropping hundreds of barrel bombs and other ordinance on Sudanese towns and villages, deliberately targeting hospitals and schools.

"We are also disturbed by recent reports of aerial bombings targeting civilian humanitarian assistance workers - which, if accurate, would be a serious violation of international law and would compound the impediments that the government has already placed on the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.

"The rise in violence in South Kordofan and Blue Nile has displaced or severely affected approximately 1.2 million people; it has increased the population's vulnerability to disease and malnutrition, and it has disrupted planting cycles, which will only compound food insecurity in the regions. Non-governmental organisations operating in Sudan report that the RSF have looted and destroyed food and water supplies in areas recaptured from opposition forces; the Government of Sudan has denied humanitarian access to rebel-held areas since the conflict began nearly three years ago. We have also seen these tactics used recently in Darfur, displacing over 300,000 people this year.

"The United States calls on all armed groups in Sudan to cease all violence against civilians and comply with international law. We note the Government of Sudan has a special responsibility in this regard as it is charged with the protection of its citizens. We urge the international community and the UN Security Council to ensure that those responsible for these attacks on civilians are held accountable and that all available mechanisms for doing so are effectively utilised."

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