Friday, January 20, 2012

They Bombed Everything that Moved’: Aerial military attacks on civilians and humanitarians in Sudan, 1999 – 2012″ (Update, January 12, 2012)

by: Eric Reeves

Since inaugurating hostilities in South Kordofan on June 5, 2011, Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) military aircraft have been engaged in relentless, widespread, and systematic attacks on civilian targets throughout the state, particularly in the Nuba Mountains. Similarly, since fighting began in Blue Nile on September 1, 2011, bombing has been relentless, widespread, and systematic. Many hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded, although even a broadly approximate census has no real authority; judging from the character of reports and the geographic dispersion of the attacks, the figure is more likely to be in the thousands.

Most consequentially, aerial attacks have displaced many hundreds of thousands of civilians from South Kordofan (chiefly into Unity State in South Sudan) and Blue Nile (chiefly into Ethiopia, and Upper Nile in South Sudan). The UN figure of 417,000 displaced first promulgated in mid-December 2011 is almost certainly low, since much is excluded from the data sets available (the January 11 estimate of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North [SPLM/A-N] is over 700,000 within Blue Nile and South Kordofan). Many of the displaced are unable to travel the distances required to escape the violence, and have stayed in areas not controlled by Khartoum’s forces, but which are inaccessible and highly vulnerable. They remain subject to aerial attacks, and have often fled at least some distance from their homes and lands. And the flow of refugees is unceasing: the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) reported that relief organizations in mid-December estimated that “at least 1,000 refugees are arriving daily in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State” (December 14, Doro, Upper Nile). There are also reports of large groups of people who have had to halt in their flight to safety, but have so far not been registered or provided for. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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