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Landmine blast kills two children in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains

Civilians hide from airplane bomb attacks in the Nuba Mountains in 2011 (file photo)
Civilians hide from airplane bomb attacks in the Nuba Mountains in 2011 (file photo)

Two children are dead and three wounded in a landmine explosion in Heiban in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. A fact-finding committee has been set up following the death of eight children in a blast in Omdurman.

On March 21, two children were killed, and another three wounded by the explosion of a landmine which had been planted by government troops in the Nuba Mountains.

According to a statement issued by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) the dead children are Komi Idris and Kalu Doria, while the wounded are Komi Zakaria, Khamis Osman Kocho, and Jamaleldin Kodi.

Ghada Mardoum, the spokeswoman for the SPLM-N faction in South Kordofan, condemned the targeting of unarmed civilians, children, women, and the elderly. She held the National Congress Party responsible for any explosion of military weapons in the region.

Since 2011, the government of Sudan and the SPLM-N have been at war in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The Sudanese government waged bombing campaigns during the war, dropping cheap shrapnel bombs out of converted Antonov cargo planes. In December 2017 and January 2018, the SPLM-N factions declared unilateral ceasefires in their conflict with the government.

A meeting between the Sudanese government and SPLM-N Abdelaziz El Hilu faction over the resumption of peace negotiations concluded without significant progress in November last year. End January 2019, President Omar Al Bashir announced an extension of the unilateral ceasefire in all conflict areas, including South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Fact-finding committee for separate incident

In a similar incident, eight children died from an explosion in El Fateh, west of Omdurman on Saturday. The object has not yet been identified.

A police spokesperson said the children’s ages ranged between nine and 12 years. Seven children were killed on the spot, while the eighth one died of wounds at a hospital, Gen Hashim Abdelrahim said. He said the children brought a strange object home from an area where the army was training and tried to dismantle it.

The Darfur Bar Association has formed a fact-finding committee that will investigate the explosion. Sudanese state media confirmed that eight children had died in a blast. It did not offer details. 

Condemnation of incidents

The forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change condemned in a joint statement both incidents in Omdurman and Heiban.

The statement said the forces that have been targeting children and mothers through aerial bombardments of civilians in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states should not talk about security or repeat sentences empty of content.

The signatories of the Declaration of Freedom and Change added in their statement that they will not be satisfied with statements of condemnation, and plan to carry out demonstrations for the children of Heiban and Omdurman in every part of Sudan.

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