29 May 2016

Sudan: Condemnation As Sudan Bombs South Kordofan Civilians

Photo: Radio Dabanga
The men from Leeba gathered under a tree to read the Koran, pray to God to avoid any Antonovs bombing the area. (file photo).

Nuba Mountains — The Sudanese Air Force has continued its air raids on civilian targets in South Kordofan's Nuba Mountains. This week, a school was hit, and a teacher injured. The Sudan Troika has called for an end to the violence.

On Saturday, a Sudanese Air Force Antonov dropped ten barrel bombs on the Uru area, southeast of Heiban, the spokesman for the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Arnu Ngutulu Lodi said in a statement today.

Lodi said that on Thursday, an Antonov dropped 12 bombs on the Umserdiba area near to Umm Dorain. This killed 12 cows. On Friday, the Shawri area in Hieban locality was bombed. "The bombs terrorised the civilians, but there were no human casualties," Lodi said.

Primary school bombed

On Wednesday afternoon, a government warplane bombed a leading primary school in Kauda, Heiban locality. A Kenyan teacher was wounded and the school's facilities damaged.

According to Nuba Reports, a Sukhoi jet dropped two parachute bombs into the compound of the St. Vincent Primary School at the Diocese of El Obeid, damaging classrooms and the library.

"We just thank God that the children were not in the primary school because these metal pieces would have probably killed them... "

"I don't feel safe, it's inhuman," said a shocked sister Cinta Mutisya, a principal at the school from Kenya. Sponsored by Catholic churches in the USA, several international staff from East Africa and Australia work at the school. This is not the first time. In May last year, the jets had bombed the same school.

"We just thank God that the children were not in the primary school because these metal pieces would have probably killed them," Australian Education Coordinator Cathy Solano said. Only teachers were present as it was a correction day for exams. (Watch video coverage here)

Troika

Heiban locality has been targeted repeatedly in recent weeks. A baby died in a raid on the area on Monday, and six other people were wounded. In a raid on Heiban on 1 May, six children perished.

The civilian deaths have prompted widespread condemnation and outrage from organisations within Sudan and abroad.

"The Sudanese government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens."

In a joint statement by governments of the Sudan Troika, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Norway are "appalled".

"The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) are appalled by the Sudanese government's aerial bombardment of civilians in Kauda and the Heiban area of South Kordofan, including the bombing of St Vincent Elementary School on 25 May. The Sudanese government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens. We urge all parties to end the violence and allow immediate humanitarian access to those in need. We believe that the Roadmap presented by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel represents the way forward."

OCHA head expelled

"The Troika countries are also deeply concerned by the government of Sudan's de facto expulsion of Ivo Freijsen, the Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan. The government of Sudan's action contributes to the increasingly difficult environment to address humanitarian needs in Sudan. The humanitarian situation remains critical, with over 5.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid. We fully support OCHA's mandate in Sudan and call on the government to review this latest decision, and lift restrictions on the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to all Sudanese affected by crisis and conflict."

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