Sudan continues to indiscriminately bomb civilians and block humanitarian aid to South Kordofan, with the latest confirmation coming from today’s joint report by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

“The Sudanese government is literally getting away with murder and trying to keep the outside world from finding out” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Advisor.  “The international community, and particularly the UN Security Council, must stop looking the other way and act to address the situation.”

Displaced man in Kurchi in his makeshift bomb shelter watches an Antonov aircraft fly overhead. Tens of thousands of civilians have fled indiscriminate aerial bombardment by the Sudanese military to seek shelter wherever they can. © 2011 Kaarsten Stormer

The joint report was based on a week spent by researchers in South Kordofan, during which, “Antonov aircrafts dropped bombs over farmlands and villages almost daily.”  Casualties took place in and around homes and village markets or while victims were cultivating fields or fetching water, and many of the victims were children.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International collected detailed information on indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, denial of humanitarian aid, extrajudicial killings, coerced returns, sexual violence, and the destruction of property, including churches.

The report confirms accounts recorded by Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition in early July, as well as many of the findings in the United Nations report released on August 15 including “patterns of unlawful killings and widespread attacks on civilian properties that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The lack of strong condemnation and action by the UN Security Council is also decried in the report with South Africa, Russia, and China singled out for their role in blocking any statements or action.

The report concludes with a call for the UN Security Council to:

“firmly condemn and demand an end to Sudan’s indiscriminate bombings in civilian populated areas and other violations, call for unfettered access for humanitarian agencies to all affected areas, and take concrete action to ensure an independent human rights monitoring presence across Southern Kordofan” and “to mandate an independent inquiry into the alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law that occurred during the hostilities in southern Kordofan, and hold perpetrators to account.”

 

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