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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid