[QODLink]
Africa
Report: 'Indiscriminate bombing' in Sudan
Amnesty and Human Rights Watch accuse government of bombing civilians and blocking aid workers in South Kordofan state.
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2011 00:38

Researchers from both groups travelled to the region and reported government planes dropping bombs in populated areas.

"No evident military targets were visible near any of the air strike locations," they wrote.

The bombing has reportedly wounded dozens of people, including a number of women and children.

More than 150,000 people have fled their homes since June, with many hiding in caves, abandoned homes and other makeshift shelters.

Khartoum has been fighting armed groups for months in South Kordofan, the state which includes the Nuba Mountains region.

Sudanese officials insist that their bombing raids have only targeted rebels.

Daffa-Alla Elhaj Ali Osman, the Sudanese ambassador at the United Nations, told Al Jazeera last month that rebels were responsible for civilian casualties.

But the report from Amnesty and HRW notes that many of the bombs used are unguided - in some cases, simply rolled out of cargo planes - and cannot be directed at military targets.

"Use of weapons in a civilian area that cannot accurately be directed at a military objective makes such strikes inherently indiscriminate, in violation of international humanitarian law," the groups said in their report.

Hunger a growing problem

The Sudanese government has blocked international aid agencies from entering South Kordofan, and insists that all aid to the region be delivered through the Sudanese Red Crescent.

Food supplies are rapidly dwindling, with the World Food Programme saying it only has enough stockpiled to feed 23,000 people for ten days.

Researchers said many people have been forced to supplement their dwindling food aid with wild berries and leaves.

South Kordofan borders South Sudan, which broke away from the north last month to become an independent nation.

It has a large population of ethnic Nuba groups, many of which are linked to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the rebel group which fought the north for decades.

SPLM fighters and other armed groups in southern Sudan have also been linked to widespread human rights abuses.

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between north and south requires "popular consultations" this year on South Kordofan's status, but that process has not yet begun.

Khartoum announced a two-week ceasefire in South Kordofan earlier this month.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.