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Civilian dies in Central Darfur air strafing

November 20 - 2018 NIERTETI
Antonov cargo aircraft, retrofitted as a “bomber” (File photo: Vladimir Mikitarenko)
Antonov cargo aircraft, retrofitted as a “bomber” (File photo: Vladimir Mikitarenko)

A displaced woman farmer was killed on Sunday when an aircraft of the Sudanese Air Force launched a bombardment on the areas east of Nierteti in Central Darfur.

Farmers reported that the air force bombed the areas near Kutrum, three kilometres east of Nierteti, killing a displaced woman who had returned to the area for farming.

They said the air force also bombed the villages of Kuweila, Berbera, Beringo, and Kody in Jebel Marra, however there are no reports of casualties.

They said the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) arrested six people, including two women in those areas on Sunday.

Surviving the Antonovs

The converted Russian-made Antonov 25 cargo aircraft are infamous in Darfur because their arrival means the indiscriminate bombing of villages. In the article entitled Surviving the Antonovs in Darfur, Radio Dabanga editor-in-chief Kamal El Sadig explains that the sound of the cargo aircraft’s engine is unlike that of a helicopter or a jet fighter, and sets in motion a desperate attempt by villagers to find a shelter with their family and animals as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the attempts are often not successful for all people. The Antonovs are only capable of rolling barrel bombs out of their cargo hatch. The barrels, filled with shrapnel and high explosives, are thus far from accurate. As the weapon is deemed indiscriminate it is illegal under international law. 

In addition to the modified Antonovs, Russian Mi-17 and Mi-32 helicopter gunships, Sukhoi and MiG-29 fighter jets, and Chinese-made A-5 ‘Fantan’ jets have all been sighted in Darfur according to the Small Arms Survey.


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