June 18, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - An international medical humanitarian organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said that Sudanese war planes bombed a hospital they run in the restive South Kordofan state where the government troops carry out a large scale offensive.
- Children sit in front of their shelter in Bram village in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan on 28 April 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
“As bombs struck the village of Farandalla on June 16, two hit the MSF hospital there,” MAF said in a press statement released on Tuesday adding that five people were wounded in the village and one MSF staff member was injured at the hospital.
“We are shocked that a medical facility can be bombed, especially since it was clearly identified with a flag and a cross on the roof,” said MSF Head of Mission Brian Moller. “We also had previously communicated the hospital’s position to the authorities in Khartoum.”
Sudanese army and government militia since target rebel positions in South Kordofan where they captured several positions held by the SPLM-N fighters. However, the attacks continue as they aim to dislodge the insurgents from their headquarters in Kauda.
SPLM-N secretary general Yasir Arman told Sudan Tribune this week that the ongoing military operations are the “largest offensive” never the region witnessed since the start of the conflict in June 2011.
Aid groups say the “Decisive Summer” displaced more than 100,000 people in SPLM -N areas during the past few months in parts of South Kordofan and are in need of humanitarian assistance.
UN CONDEMNS THE BOMBING
In a statement released on Wednesday morning, the acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere, condemned the bombing of MSF hospital on Monday.
“I am very concerned that international obligations to ensure that medical units are protected during times of conflict are not being upheld,” said Cappelaere.
“Inside, are ordinary people who are seeking medical attention in a civilian hospital and humanitarian relief workers. They should not have to pay for this conflict with their lives. I would like to remind all parties to this conflict that clearly marked medical units are not to be attacked. The bombing of a medical facility simply should not happen,” he said.
On 1 and 2 May Sudanese military aircrafts dropped bombs near the Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, causing injuries and terrifying patients. The air attack triggered international condemnations from the UN and different countries.
MSF said that Farandalla Hospital staff evacuated the patients in the surroundings at the time of the attack, while medical workers returned to treat the people wounded during the attack on the village.
According to the medical group, the emergency room, a dressing room, the pharmacy, and the hospital kitchen were destroyed by the bombs. However Moller asserted that “MSF will continue to work there,” despite the significant damage.
Last Friday the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, condemned "in the strongest possible terms" bombardments of civilians that she said were being carried out by the Sudanese government and its rapid support forces.
"Since April, not only have ground attacks on, and the shelling of, civilian populations increased, but the government of Sudan has intensified its air campaign, dropping hundreds of barrel bombs and other ordnance on Sudanese towns and villages, deliberately targeting hospitals and schools," Power said.