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'Sudan continued using cluster bombs in South Kordofan, Darfur this year'

September 3 - 2015 GENEVA
Two AO-2.5RT sub-munitions found near the village of Ongolo in South Kordofan. These sub-munitions have successfully been dispersed from a cluster bomb but failed to detonate (Aris Roussinos/HRW)
Two AO-2.5RT sub-munitions found near the village of Ongolo in South Kordofan. These sub-munitions have successfully been dispersed from a cluster bomb but failed to detonate (Aris Roussinos/HRW)

Sudan’s armed forces used air-dropped cluster bombs in Darfur and South Kordofan's Nuba Mountains during the first half of 2015, says a new report released by the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor today.

According to the Cluster Munition Monitor 2015, civilians accounted for 92 percent of all recorded casualties in 2015. Half of them were children.

The Geneva-based Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor provides research and monitoring for the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

Cluster bombs scatter sub-munitions, also known as 'bomblets', over a wide area. Often many do not explode on impact, but kill or maim people later. The bombs were banned in international law by a 2008 treaty signed by more than 100 countries. Sudan has “steadfastly” ignored calls to accede to the treaty.

Darfur

In various media comments, Sudanese army spokesman El Sawarmi Khalid Saad denied the use of cluster bombs. 

On 29 June however, the UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted a UK-led resolution on Sudan that -for the first time- contained specific language on cluster munitions.

UNSC expressed its concern about two air-delivered cluster bombs, collected by staff of the joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid) near Kirigiyati in North Darfur, taking note that Unamid disposed of them safely.

The Council reiterated the UN secretary-general’s call on the Sudanese government to immediately investigate the use of cluster munitions. Sudan’s representative at the UNSC session strenuously objected to the paragraph.

Nuba Mountains

Whereas cluster munition use was previously recorded in 2012 in South Kordofan, Sudan used air-dropped cluster bombs in the war-torn region several times during the first half of 2015.

Government aircraft dropped two cluster bombs on Tongoli village in Delami locality on 6 March and four bombs on Rajeefi village in Um Durein locality late February.

Nuba Reports, a network of journalists, published a video showing the remnants of RBK-500 cluster bombs dropped near the rebel-held town of Kauda in the Nuba Mountains on 27 May.

In almost all of these documented incidents the cluster munitions failed to function as designed, leaving failed munitions and unexploded sub-munitions, the Munition Monitor's 'special five-year report' reads. 


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