3 June 2016

Sudan: Bishop Urges End to Recurrent Bombing in Nuba Mountains

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).

Khartoum — Bishop Macram Max Gassis, Emeritus bishop of El Obeid in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan has called for the stop of the continual bombing in Nuba Mountains area.

"The diocese denounces continual indiscriminate aerial bombing which kills and maims and instills a culture of fear and death among the people," Bishop Gassis said.

The bishop said that the bombings destroyed a Catholic school in rebel held territory in Heiban County, South Kordofan state, reported Fides.

"On May 18 teachers at the San Vincenzo Ferrer School counted 15 bombs which fell close to the school, three no more than 300 meters away and on May 26 a missile launched by a fighter jet hit the school compound causing serious damages," he said.

"The missile tore holes in the roof of the library... Fortunately the children were not at school," the bishop added and further called on the warring sides in the conflict "to work to reach a lasting peace".

The Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, also referred to by some media as the Third Sudanese Civil War, is an ongoing armed conflict in the Sudanese southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile between the Army of Sudan (SAF) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), a northern affiliate of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South Sudan.

Since the start of the war in the Nuba Mountains in 2011, nearly 250,000 Sudanese refugees have fled to South Sudan, mostly to Unity and Upper Nile according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This weekend marks the 5th anniversary of the conflict.

After some years of relative calm following the 2005 deal which ended the second Sudanese civil war between the Sudanese government and SPLM rebels, fighting broke out again in the lead-up to South Sudan independence on 9 July 2011, starting in South Kordofan on 5 June 2011and spreading to the neighboring Blue Nile state in September 2011.

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