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‘Sudan used cluster bombs in South Kordofan’: HRW

April 16 - 2015 NAIROBI
Two AO-2.5RT submunitions found near the village of Ongolo in South Kordofan. These submunitions have successfully been dispersed from a cluster bomb but failed to detonate (Aris Roussinos/HRW)
Two AO-2.5RT submunitions found near the village of Ongolo in South Kordofan. These submunitions have successfully been dispersed from a cluster bomb but failed to detonate (Aris Roussinos/HRW)

Evidence indicates that the Sudanese government forces dropped cluster bombs on civilian areas of South Kordofan’s Nuba Mountains in February and March this year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported today.

HRW researchers visited South Kordofan in the first week of April 2015, and found evidence of six cluster bombs, including remnants of the weapons such as dud explosive submunitions, apparently dropped by the Sudanese Air Force on villages in Delami and Um Durein localities.

Witnesses said that government aircraft dropped two bombs in the village of Tongoli in Delami on 6 March, and four others on the village of Rajeefi, in Um Durein, in late February. The attacks destroyed homes and other civilian property.

Cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons banned under the Convention on Cluster Munitions that Sudan has yet to join. They pose an immediate threat to civilians by scattering submunitions or bomblets over a wide area. They continue to pose a threat after a conflict ends by leaving remnants, including submunitions that fail to explode upon impact and become de facto landmines, HRW explained.

“The evidence that Sudan’s army has used cluster bombs in Southern Kordofan shows the government’s total disregard for its own people and civilian life,” Daniel Bekele, HRW Africa director, said. “Sudan should immediately stop using these horrendous weapons, destroy its stockpiles, and respect the prohibition on cluster munitions by joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions.”

“The evidence that Sudan’s army has used cluster bombs in Southern Kordofan shows the government’s total disregard for its own people and civilian life.”

Continued bombardments

The international human rights organisation also confirmed that Sudan continued to bomb civilian areas indiscriminately throughout the region.

On 4 April, Sudanese monitors reported that an Antonov of the Sudanese Air Force bombed Tongoli, killing seven people, and injuring four, and that no rebel forces were present in the area.

Researchers also documented more than 15 bombings, some of them apparently purposefully directed onto civilian targets, which have killed or injured civilians and humanitarian workers since early 2014.

The Sudan’s air force has repeatedly, indiscriminately bombed civilian areas, often killing or maiming civilians, destroying homes and crops, and damaging schools, clinics, and other civilian property, since armed conflict erupted between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North and the Sudanese government in South Kordofan in June 2011, HRW research has found.


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