May 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government summoned the American and Canadian envoys in Khartoum on Thursday to condemn a joint statement they issued on the bombing of a hospital in the restive South Kordofan state.
The Sudanese army bombed during two days (1 and 2 May) an area adjacent to the Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan. Several civilians were killed and some parts of the hospital were affected by the air attacks.
“We strongly condemn any targeting of civilians, and are appalled by this attack on those providing essential medical care or humanitarian assistance to people in need. International humanitarian law obligates all parties to a conflict to distinguish civilians from combatants,” said a the joint statement issued on 8 May.
Diplomatic sources in Khartoum said the foreign ministry informed Candian and US chargés d’affaires of its rejection of the statement.
The statement and the language used to write it “are contrary to diplomatic norms and traditions”, the source said.
The European Union delegation and the embassy of Norway in Sudan issued a separate statement on the same issue expressing their “concern” over the bombing.
“Failing to make the distinction between military objectives and the civilian population and objects represents an indiscriminate attack and is a war crime,” said the European statement.
It is not clear if the EU and Norway ambassadors will be summoned, but strained relations between Khartoum and Washington have prompted this Sudanese reaction.
The Sudanese army and its militias are carrying out a large-scale counterinsurgency campaign in the South Kordofan state aiming to weaken the SPLM-N rebels and force them to negotiate a peace deal.
The two warring parties are supposed to meet this month, but the SPLM-N warned that it would not accept to negotiate a peace deal on the conflict in the Two Areas and reiterated its demand for a large process including Darfur rebel groups.