Sudan: Possible War Crimes in Southern Kordofan
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch
30 August 2011
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have released a report on Sudan, ”Southern Kordofan Civilians Tell of Air Strike Horror”. The following is the abstract of the report.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have collected evidence indicating that the Sudanese Armed Forces may have committed war crimes in Southern Kordofan, the organizations said today.
In a rare trip to the Nuba Mountains region of Southern Kordofan, researchers from the two human rights groups found that an indiscriminate bombing campaign carried out by Sudan since early-June is killing and maiming men, women and children. (…)
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch documented 13 separate bombing incidents in Kauda, Delami and Kurchi towns alone, in which at least 26 civilians were killed and more than 45 others injured since mid-June.
Antonov aircraft dropped bombs over farmlands and villages on a near-daily basis while researchers were on the ground from August 14-21. (…)
In all the attacks investigated by researchers, there were seemingly no legitimate military targets near to where the bombs struck, according to victims and witnesses.
The type of munitions used - unguided munitions dropped from high altitude - and the indiscriminate manner in which they were delivered, violated international humanitarian law.
Since early June, more than 150,000 people have been forced to flee due to the conflict. Tens of thousands are in opposition-held areas, where the Sudanese authorities have effectively blockaded humanitarian assistance and the flow of desperately needed goods and basic services.
Displaced communities forced out of their homes by the repeated bombing live in harsh conditions in caves, on mountaintops, under trees, and in the bush far from towns.
They lack sufficient food, medicine, sanitation, and shelter from heavy rains. Many displaced families told researchers they were eating berries and leaves and that their children were suffering from diarrhoea and malaria.
“The Sudanese authorities should immediately cease all indiscriminate bombing in Southern Kordofan and allow access for emergency assistance as well as human rights monitors,” said Erwin van der Borght.
“The United Nations Security Council should condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing human rights violations in the Nuba Mountains, and mandate an independent inquiry to investigate abuses committed by parties to the conflict in Southern Kordofan since 5 June,” he added.
Read the full report, Southern Kordofan Civilians Tell of Air Strike Horror.