UN urges inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state
15 August 2011
(…) The United Nations today called for a thorough investigation into violations of international law committed in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state in June which it said could, if substantiated, amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes.
A preliminary report, produced jointly by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the former UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), describes a wide range of alleged violations of international law in the town of Kadugli, as well as in the surrounding Nuba mountains, after fighting broke out in Kadugli on 5 June between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army North (SPLA-N).
Reported violations included “extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention, enforced disappearances, attacks against civilians, looting of civilian homes and destruction of property,” as well as massive displacement, according to a news release issued by OHCHR. (…)
The report, which covers the period from 5 to 30 June, also describes aerial bombardments on civilian areas in Kadugli and elsewhere in Southern Kordofan, which, it says, have resulted in “significant loss of life.” (…)
It also describes widespread looting by elements of the Popular Defence Force (a militia allied with the SAF), alleged attacks on churches, the burning of houses in Nuba villages, interference with medical and humanitarian assistance and allegations of the existence of several mass graves in Kadugli itself and in a number of villages in the region. (…)
Most, but not all, of the violations and allegations detailed in the report are attributed to the SAF, the Central Reserve Police or their militia allies. (…)
Ms. Pillay expressed concern about continuing violence in the six weeks since the end of the period covered by the report, and noted some of its key recommendations concerning access.
“It is vital that unhindered access is granted to human rights monitors to conduct investigations into allegations of continuing violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and to humanitarian actors trying to bring relief to the affected populations whose access has also been severely restricted by both sides,” she said.
“We need the access to be able to go in and look at the situation, to investigate certainly. But also longer-term presence for the promotion and protection of human rights of the community,” said Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, who travelled through Sudan during a week-long visit in June. (…)
See full press release