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.
    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

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora