News / Africa

AU Urged to Take Humanitarian Action in Sudan

Children walk in the Jaborona settlement for displaced people from South Kordofan and South Sudan in the desert near Khartoum's twin city Omdurman, December 23, 2012.
Children walk in the Jaborona settlement for displaced people from South Kordofan and South Sudan in the desert near Khartoum's twin city Omdurman, December 23, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Jill Craig
Human Rights Watch says the conflict in Sudan's Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states has displaced or severely affected an estimated 900,000 people and caused widespread hunger, malnutrition, and associated illness.  With Sudan's army increasing aerial attacks since the end of the rainy season, the situation in the region is rapidly deteriorating.  Key humanitarian figures are calling on the African Union to take action at their summit later this month.  

Last July, the Khartoum government agreed to a tripartite proposal to allow humanitarian access into the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where rebels have been fighting Sudan's government since mid-2011.  To date, however, all aid has been blocked.

Sustained aerial attacks by Sudan's armed forces have prevented people from planting or harvesting crops, finding suitable shelter, and accessing health care.  

Representing the Christian Episcopal Church of Sudan, Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail recently returned from a month-long trip to the Nuba Mountains area, located in Southern Kordofan.  He says that the agreements have made no impact on the ground and in fact, this year is worse than last in terms of bombings.

He prays the AU will soon take action.

“Next week, if the AU can send humanitarian aid, and implement and consider the cease-fire in the region, and send a delegation to the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile, and all these conflicted areas, that will be very helpful,” Andudu said.

According to Dr. Mukesh Kapila, a special representative for the Aegis Trust and the former U.N. Development Program representative for Sudan, the government in Khartoum is perpetrating crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and possibly even genocide.  He says that Khartoum is using more sophisticated tactics here than it did ten years ago in Darfur.  

“In Darfur, and I was there in 2003, 2004, we had relatively primitive weaponry - Antonovs without much deliberate targeting, Janjaweed - men on camels and horseback, a few bombs being dropped randomly, targeting African tribes, but it was crude warfare," said Kapila. "What I’ve seen in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile is all that I’ve seen in Darfur, plus the addition of modern technology.  Ten years after, we have precision guided missiles, land mines which I don’t remember seeing in Darfur, anti-personnel bombs, cluster bombs which I did not see in Darfur, we see MiG fighters which I don’t remember seeing in Darfur, and we have a much more precision-guided approach with distance over the horizon artillery.  So this is not just another Darfur; quite possibly, it is worse than Darfur.”

Kapila says that no meaningful results will occur unless the AU takes a broad approach to the many issues facing Sudan and South Sudan.

“There can be no peace in Sudan or across the border in South Sudan for that matter, without these fundamental problems being resolved.  So the AU must be concerned about regional peace and security and it needs to realize that the problems of Nuba, Blue Nile, Abyei, Darfur, are interconnected and it needs to take a comprehensive approach to solving all of them at the same time," he said. "If it takes a piecemeal approach, then it’ll continue to trade off one against the other.  And this is not going to go anywhere at all.”

The African Union will meet from January 21 to 28 in Addis Ababa to discuss issues facing the continent.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid