Sudan 'bombs refugees' in South Sudan's Unity state

South Sudanese officials have condemned Sudan after an aerial bombardment of a refugee camp in their territory.

The BBC’s James Copnall was at the Yida camp in oil-rich Unity State, which borders Sudan, when it was bombed.

Local official Miabek Lang said at least 12 people had been killed and 20 wounded.

The Sudanese military, which has been fighting rebels in areas near South Sudan, has denied the claims.

Our reporter says the first bombs fell at around 12:00 GMT and when he arrived at the camp some 10 minutes later, a second round of bombing started.

He says that just as a UN helicopter, carrying food aid, settled on to a makeshift landing zone at the camp, there was a deep and terrifying thud of a nearby explosion.

A large plane was spotted heading to the north, our reporter says.

Several residents of the refugee camp told him it was an Antonov plane, often used by the Sudanese government as a makeshift bomber.

The refugees said the plane had circled before launching two bombing raids.

Five bombs were dropped, of which four exploded, they told our correspondent.

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At the scene

External image
James Copnall BBC News, Unity State

Just as a UN helicopter settled on to a makeshift landing zone, there was a deep and terrifying thud of a nearby explosion. A large plane glinting silver against the sun was spotted heading to the north.

It was identified by several residents of the refugee camp as an Antonov, a plane that is feared here because the Sudanese government has often used it as a makeshift bomber.

The refugees said the plane had circled, then launched two bombing raids. They said five bombs were dropped, of which four exploded.

The unexploded bomb, a flat grey sphere, had hit a tree, and came to rest in soft earth just outside a school. Another bomb sparked a small fire, and left a crater in the earth.

Our reporter says he did not see any casualties, but Mr Lang, the commissioner of Pariang county in Unity state, said that 12 people had been killed and the death toll could rise.

Incidents like this, and both sides’ belief that the other is sponsoring rebels on their territory, are contributing to a rapidly deteriorating relationship between Sudan and South Sudan, he says.

Thousands of people who have fled fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan region have crossed the border to take refuge at the Yida camp.

Sudan’s army has often been accused of bombing South Kordofan, where it is facing a rebellion from pro-southern groups.

Our reporter says there is talk that rebels use the camp to rest before returning to South Kordofan to fight.

The refugees are, however, furious with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir over the bombings, he says.

The governor of Unity State, Taban Deng, said Mr Bashir should be held responsible.

“Why does Omar Bashir do this? He has a lot to answer,” Mr Deng said.

However, Sudan Armed Forces spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad vehemently denied any links to the raid.

“This information is completely false. We didn’t bomb any camps or any areas inside the borders of South Sudan,” he told the AFP news agency.

“What is going on in South Sudan belongs to the southerners. We don’t have any links to this.”

The South Sudan Liberation Army rebel group is active in Unity State - it denies claims that it is working for Khartoum in order to destabilise its neighbour.

South Sudan gained independence in July under a peace deal which followed decades of north-south conflict.

BBC news online

Najli, 9 year-old, from the Nuba Mountains. Najli left his village with his mum, his brother and sister. His father died during the war between South Sudan and Sudan. He walked for 3 days to reach Yida refugee camp because there was no food left in his village. He hasn’t been able to go to school in months. He doesn’t remember the last time he played outside.

© Camille Lepage - All rights reserved 2012

SERAP: ICC Should Refer South Africa To UN Security Council For Refusing To Arrest Al Bashir

“If it is true that the government of South Africa has blatantly disregarded the process of its own court to free international fugitive from justice, then there should be consequences otherwise the authority and credibility of the ICC and the entire regime of international justice will be seriously undermined.”


Risen from the dead

Al Bashir again made headlines this week. He has already been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. On Monday the International Criminal Court (ICC) added three charges of genocide against the Sudanese president.

I really wish I could take these charges seriously, but they are lost on me.

One could say I’m rather conflicted about the matter. On one side the UN has said that up to 300 000 people have been killed since the Darfur crisis began in 2003. Most of these victims have been the ethnic minority (Africans as it would be), butchered by the militia of the Arab-dominated regime. It does cause some indignation of the continued oppression of African people by external forces– nations who invaded our lands and claimed them as their own. This is indeed the story of the entire continent. Perhaps it can be seen as a repetition of history, although not at the scale of the original imperialists.

However, on the other hand the ICC is truly a farce. It is an institution that is synonymous for its double standard with regards to Africa. The ICC claims to be an international court, but power houses such as the United States, Russia, China and India amongst others do not fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC.

The court is predominantly funded by the European Union which inevitably brings its partiality into question. Above all the ICC has to date only pursued cases against Africans. A rather disappointing double standard when so many other contraventions of international law plague the globe. Why does Africa continue to be singled out when it comes to matters of so-called crimes against humanity when the likes of Bush and Blair still live as free men?

The ICC appears to be targeting Africa, disregarding the human rights atrocities being committed in other parts of the world. Could it be that Africa is once again the guinea-pig of a Western designed system? The ICC is indeed practicing selective justice.

But the question is– how will Bashir’s indictment help the people of Sudan? The West insists on shaming our leaders and we too often follow blindly. We are conditioned by Western standards to disregard anything that is African and when our glorious saviours in the West condemn our nations we dance to their tune.

What purpose does it serve to condemn our leaders and spend billions of dollar establishing courts with no credibility, when such funding could be used in developing and creating equality in the nations they claim to be ‘saving?’

They call us the ‘Dark’ continent, but why is it then that the sun sets in the WEST?

One part crack, one part serious, mostly…  Solomon from the campaign, video game rp, Indie rp, crime, nsfw rp, (aged 29.) 18+. So far… Ask. R, Blag,

“You want us to believe there’s a PLR threat and Solomon’s at the head? The bank collapsed. Al Bashir’s dead. Your unit is dead Dima is presumed dead Kaffarov is dead. Eighty thousand French people are actually dead.”