Sudan bombing, hunger 'afflict Kordofan'
17 April 2013, 18:59
New York - Sudan's indiscriminate bombing of the rebellious
South Kordofan province is stoking a developing crisis by displacing thousands
of people and disrupting crop planting, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
The human rights group said the situation was likely to get
worse as food supplies dwindle and the rainy season cuts off roads, making
relief missions impossible.
Amnesty International urged the UN Security Council and
African Union to take immediate steps to make Sudan halt the indiscriminate
attacks and bring pressure to quickly open conflict-affected areas to
"The international community continues to watch this
catastrophe unfold as the humanitarian situation worsens in conflict-affected
areas of Southern Kordofan. It's time for some concerted action," said
Khairunissa Dhala, Amnesty International's South Sudan researcher.
"Indiscriminate attacks must immediately cease and the
international community must bring pressure to bear on the Sudanese authorities
to grant immediate and unhindered humanitarian access."
A call seeking reaction from Sudan's UN ambassador,
Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, was not returned on Tuesday.
South Kordofan borders the new nation of South Sudan, which
peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011 under an agreement that ended decades
of civil war. Many of South Kordofan's 1.1 million people are sympathetic to
South Sudan and are in territory controlled by the rebel Sudan People's
"The Sudanese authorities are harassing, arresting and
detaining a number of people who are speaking out about the situation inside
Sudan," Dhala said.
Farming and education
Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the
health of a number of women who have been detained because of their alleged
affiliation to the political wing of the South Sudan rebels. Thirty-two in
total have been held without charge or access to a lawyer for over five months,
Amnesty International said it has documented bombings by
Sudan's air force carried out during key planting and harvesting periods that
have caused severe damage to people's livelihoods.
According to the
Famine Early Warning Systems Network, the majority of internally displaced
people are likely to face crisis levels of food security by the time the rainy
season starts in the next few weeks.
The bombings have also severely disrupted daily activities
such as farming and education, Amnesty said. Where schooling is still possible,
it takes place in open spaces, so that teachers and pupils can run to seek
shelter in nearby foxholes and caves.
As the conflict ensues, the number of people fleeing to
South Sudan as refugees is rapidly increasing and more continue to arrive every
More than 70 000 people have fled to Yida camp in South
Sudan's Unity State, while the UN anticipates that the number of refugees there
will reach 100 000 by May.