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Calls for more pressure on Khartoum to end bombing in civilian areas

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September 8, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Eleven international and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called on national, regional and international actors to exercise pressure on Khartoum to immediately stop “indiscriminate aerial bombardment” in the Two Areas and Darfur, as well as launch an international investigation into possible war crimes committed in these areas.

Children sit in front of their shelter in Bram village in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan on 28 April 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

The NGOs, in a statement received by Sudan Tribune, expressed concern over the constant shelling saying it causes death of innocent people and destruction of property and livelihoods in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, claiming that the government dropped more than 3,000 bombs since April 2012.

The statement called for protecting civilians and allowing independent investigations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws besides probing war crimes and crimes against humanity including systematic aerial shelling of civilians.

It asserted that the government continues to commit atrocities in a war that could be avoided in the three areas, noting the impact of these wars on the lives of more than 6 million people.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 2.6 million Sudanese people are either refugees or internally displaced persons due to ongoing violence.

The NGOs warned that violence would abort any serious attempt to achieve national reconciliation and maintain unity of Sudan, saying the government is responsible for prosperity of its people and violence committed by rebel groups does not commensurate with that of the government.

They underscored the need to allow delivery of humanitarian assistance for the needy populations who have been trapped in war zones in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.

The statement also pointed to the need for paving the way for a comprehensive and independent process for achieving truth, justice and reconciliation if Sudan was to reconcile with its violent history.

It called upon the regional and international community to put an end to recruitment of child soldiers on tribal basis in militias and paramilitary forces such as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), vowing to stand up against such violations.

They further called upon individuals, governmental and non-governmental, national, regional and international organisations and institutions to support these demands.

(ST)

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