Targeted bombing by SAF of Local Humanitarian Agency Compound in South Kordofan

(28 May 2014) Reports from staff of partner organisations on the ground indicate that between 10 am and 12 noon on 26 May, a Sudan Air Force (SAF) Antonov plane dropped eight bombs in what appears to be a deliberate and targeted attack on the Kauda-based headquarters of one of the main local civil society organisations attempting to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the Nuba Mountains. Fortunately, only one of these eight bombs directly hit the organisation’s compound, and no casualties were reported, however the attack caused extensive damage to the organisation’s office buildings. 

While it is not the first time this organisation and its compound has been targeted, the scale of this  attack is significant as it suggests that government of Sudan (GoS) is escalating its campaign on civilian and humanitarian targets. The deliberate targeting of local civilian structures and organisations directly involved with responding to the very significant humanitarian needs in locations where no other humanitarian actors are present is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation. The compound facility targeted in this attack cannot be confused with any sort of military target as there are no arms, no other military installations and no uniformed individuals in or near the compound – only civilians and civilian assets. In addition, the last two weeks have also seen targeted bombing raids on the only two hospitals in the opposition controlled areas and continued heavy artillery shelling of civilian targets in Delami County where internally displaced persons (IDP)s are concentrated and resident populations are attempting to cultivate crops essential for their survival. 

These attacks are on-going and likely to continue to be against essential and life-saving humanitarian efforts and services for a population of close to a million people (in opposition controlled areas). Sudanese civilians are being targeted by their own government in the ongoing conflict in these two states and a much greater national and international response is called for. The United Nations and all concerned member states, need to demand that targeting of civilians and civilians assets in the conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are stopped with immediate effect.