Just a day after Sudan crossed country borders to bomb the Gaffa area of South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, it has bombed South Sudan again. Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Antonov bombers crossed the border today and bombed the town of Yida in Unity state, where 20,000 civilians from Sudan’s embattled South Kordofan state have fled to for safety. At least twelve were killed and 20 wounded by the four or five bombs that were dropped. President of South Sudan Salva Kiir had condemned the earlier attack on South Sudan’s sovereign territory and accused Sudan of trying to spark a war between the two nations.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir accused Sudan of conducting a four-hour aerial bombardment of a refugee camp in the Gaffa area of South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on Wednesday. At least seven people were killed. Upper Nile state has served as a place of refuge for refugees fleeing the bombings in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. Kiir accused Sudanese president Omer El-Bashir of using the conflicts in the border states to distract Sudanese citizens from political problems and to keep soldiers from rebelling.
The US State Department publicly denounced Sudan’s bombing raid on South Sudan’s Upper Nile state and condemned Sudan’s indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas. The State Department also warned that such attacks in South Sudan’s territory could provoke a war between the two countries.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir accused Sudanese President Omer El-Bashir of blaming other parties for the conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in order to deflect from the political issues driving the conflict. Bashir has accused South Sudan of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North rebels. Kiir said Sudan is using the conflicts to keep soldiers busy so they are not tempted to rebel against Bashir’s government in Khartoum.
Chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, condemned that continued ambush of UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) convoys that killed one peacekeeper on Sunday, and three peacekeepers a month ago. Such ambushes, he said, undermine UNAMID’s mission to protect civilians.
Female activists from Camp Scully, Darfur, are encouraging women to endorse the Doha Darfur peace accord saying that it will compensate them. The activists also said that the Doha Darfur agreement must require the disarming of the Janjaweed and reconstruct the villages that were destroyed.
‘Women need more representation’—Radio Dabanga
Women’s rights activist and winner of the Freedom and Human Rights Award in 2009, Safa Al Aqib said in an interview with Radio Dabanga that women must have more representation in administrative bodies in Darfur. Aqib said no women currently serve in state commissions and ministries, despite some having the requisite qualifications. Aqib said the Doha Darfur peace accord should require up to 50 percent reservation for women in Darfur Regional Authority and an increase in women’s representation by not less than 25 percent.
Two women raped in El Geneina—Radio Dabanga
Two displaced women were raped in El Geneina, West Darfur on Tuesday. The women had left the displace persons camp to collect hay and were captured and raped by armed gunmen. Another woman managed to escape. A report was filed with the police and the survivors called on UNAMID to provide more protection to displaced persons.
Refugee shot dead in North Darfur—Radio Dabanga
Ahmed Saleh, a refugee from the Al Matar neighborhood of Kabkabiya, North Darfur, was killed by four armed men after he tried to stop them from abducting and raping several girls. The incident was allegedly reported to the police and UNAMID immediately. UNMID investigators did not arrive until the next day, and angry residents pelted them with stones. UNMAID said the incident was not reported until the day after it had occurred and investigators were dispatched immediately after receiving the report.
Armed militias seize farms near Garsila, West-Darfur—Radio Dabanga
Displaced persons in Garsila, West Darfur, accused government-backed militias of seizing farms in Gedo, Gallinja, and Gang Kosi areas of Garsila to use them as pasture land for their herds.
A group of armed men killed a girl and wounded a pregnant woman in Bor County, in the Jonglei state of South Sudan. The same group was also accused of abducting two children on Tuesday, who were rescued by state authorities.
Health workers in South Darfur go on strike—Radio Dabanga
Health care workers in South Darfur have joined with staff from the Nyala Teaching Hospital in a strike. The strikers are demanding reimbursement of arrears for the past eight years. The strike is expected to last until Sunday.
An agricultural fair, cosponsored by USAID and the Government of South Sudan, began on Wednesday and seeks to encourage greater cooperation and production between entrepreneurs in the agriculture, forestry, fishery, and livestock industries. South Sudan has the potential to have a strong agricultural sector but it is underdeveloped. South Sudan relies on oil for 98% of its revenue but industry experts say oil production will likely be halved by 2020, so South Sudan is looking to diversify its economy.
South Sudan’s Deputy Minister of Transport, Mayom Kuoc Malek revealed a plan for four airports to be built over the next three years. The airports will be in Warrap, Tali, Bentiu, and Juba. Malek also said that ten ports will be built along Nile between Juba and Renk.