Documentary hightlights terror of Nuba people in SudanSunday, April 15th, 2012
A Channel 4 documentary aired on Friday, April 13 has highlighted the plight of the people of Nuba, in Southern Sudan.
The Unreported World documentary entitled Terror in Sudan shows how Sudan's government is at war with its people again, nearly a decade after its mass killings in Darfur. In the Nuba Mountains, government aircraft are bombing and strafing civilians, burning villages and looting crops.
Unreported World showed children fleeing in terror to take refuge in caves, as armed forces targeted the civilian population with heavy aerial bombardment. It says the Sudanese forces are besieging the Nuba with the stated aim of generating a famine - and the plan is working.
Conflict in the Nuba Mountains region of Sudan since June 2011 between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement - North, has led to the displacement of tens of thousands of people and an ongoing humanitarian emergency. The bombings have resulted in death and horrific injuries, which are being treated in the region’s only hospital in Gidel, the Mother of Mercy Hospital, run by the Diocese of El Obeid, which services a population of one million in addition to those injured in the war.
Trócaire is the aid agency at work in the region, and for the last two years has been delivering medical supplies to the Mother of Mercy Hospital. It has appealed to the public for donations to support the work of the hospital and has appealed to both sides of the conflict to immediately cease all military operations, including aerial bombardment.
“We also call on all parties involved to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, to allow safe and unhindered access for humanitarian organisations to the region, in order to provide assistance to all those in need,” said Trócaire spokesperson, Meabh Smith.
According to Unreported World, only a few weeks remain before the onset of rains will cut the region's single road to the outside world. And without international action to prevent a man-made famine, it will be too late for many in the Nuba Mountains.
Sudan has faced near constant conflict since it gained independence from Britain in 1956. A two-decade civil war between north and south Sudan killed two million people and displaced four million, before the signing of a peace agreement in 2005. This led to a referendum and subsequent independence for South Sudan in July of last year.
The conflicts in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions of Sudan, as well as in Darfur, with their accompanying demands for greater autonomy, represent serious challenges for the government of the Republic of Sudan (Khartoum).
All-out war erupted in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan last year. The Nuba rebelled when government forces attacked them. Fighting now rages on the frontlines. But the government has taken the war to civilian areas far from any battlefront.
Channel 4 says that daily, the air is filled with the drone of Sudanese aircraft scouting for targets and that time and time again they bomb civilian locations: villages, schools and health clinics. Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, the man behind these atrocities, is already a wanted man in The Hague, charged with war crimes in Darfur, but has never been brought to justice.
To make a donation to Trócaire to support the work of the Mother of Mercy Hospital in Gidel log onto: http://www.trocaire.org/sudan.
by Susan Gately