News / Africa

    Hospital Bombing Rattles Sudan Relief Workers

    Hospital Bombing Rattles Sudan Relief Workersi
    X
    May 08, 2014 4:15 PM
    Relief workers and human rights advocates are criticizing Sudan's military for allegedly targeting the only functioning hospital in the war-torn Nuba Mountains region. Witnesses say government war planes carried out a two-day bombing campaign at the site this month, in an apparent bid to drive international relief workers away. VOA's Pam Dockins has the story.
    Pamela Dockins
    Relief workers and human rights advocates are criticizing Sudan's military for allegedly targeting the only functioning hospital in the war-torn Nuba Mountains region.  Witnesses say government war planes carried out a two-day bombing campaign at the site this month, in an apparent bid to drive international relief workers away. 

    Before explosions rocked Mother of Mercy hospital, Catholic bishop Macram Max Gassis said there were drones. "Before the bombing, these drones came three times, rather low.  They encircled the area," he explained. "Then, after two days, the bombing started."

    Hospital workers said the bombings, which caused injuries but no deaths, left staff members and patients feeling "terrorized."

    "For two days, because of the bombing, they ran to their homes. Some of them are displaced. Others are on the top of the mountain," said one of the nurses,
    Ratiba Ibrahim.

    Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's government has not publicly responded to allegations that it is responsible for the bombings, but local reporters say in the government's view, the Catholic hospital has been functioning illegally.

    The government has restricted the access of international relief groups to the region and accused some of them of supporting the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, a rebel group fighting against Khartoum.  

    "So, they want to destroy us so they can drive us away.  This is the only thing that makes any sense.  There is nothing militarily here.  There is no military objective to destroying this place," said Dr. Tom Catena, hospital medical director.

    Akshaya Kumar is a Sudan policy analyst with the Enough Project, a group that monitors human rights developments in Central Africa, including Sudan.

    “I think we can be 100 percent certain that this facility was targeted by the government.  And, that’s because of the simple fact of the weapons that were used.  In this conflict, only one side has access to aerial bombardment capabilities and that side is the Sudanese government,” stated Kumar.

    Kumar said the international community needs to make it much clearer that Sudan has crossed a red line. “Just as we are hearing a discussion about the legality of crossing international borders to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance into Syria, many think that the same is needed for Sudan, especially because of the combination of the government’s refusal to allow international aid and assistance organizations into these areas, plus its willingness to specifically attack, target and destroy those who are, nonetheless, trying to provide those services,” Kumar said.

    Workers say those services include providing treatment to the 150,000 people who rely on Mother of Mercy each year.

    They fear that after the bombing, some patients may be too afraid to return.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora