Sudan: War crimes committed by one of Europe’s partners in the refugee question
Sudan’s use of barrel bombs in the Nuba Mountains is a violation of international law (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) accuses the government of Sudan of serious war crimes in the embattled Nuba Mountains (South Kordofan). According to the human rights organization, the Sudanese air force is dropping barrel bombs on civilian targets in order to intimidate the population and to force the people into flight. On Tuesday, Ulrich Delius, Africa-consultant of the STP in Göttingen, stated: “During the last 30 days, converted Antonov transport planes dropped at least 587 bombs on inhabited villages in the Nuba Mountains. Most of the bombs were barrel bombs, which are illegal according to international law. According to the NGO “Nuba Mountains Observatory for Human Rights”, 541 civilians lost their lives in attacks by the army and allied militia groups since the beginning of March 2016 – and at least 20,000 people are on the run from the air raids.
Due to their inaccuracy, the use of barrel bombs is seen as a violation of international humanitarian law. It is not possible to ensure that an attack will only hit military targets, not civilian ones. As this will almost inevitably lead to civilian victims, their use is also a violation of the principle of proportionality in warfare. Barrel bombs are considered as cheap weapons, due to the fact that they are made by filling simple metal barrels with fuel oils or fertilizers that work as explosives.
“Is there no outcry by the EU? No indignation about these crimes against humanity in the Nuba Mountains? When Syria was accused of using barrel bomb in 2015, the EU had called on the UN Security Council – and France had suggested to address the International Criminal Court,” said Delius. “The EU has double standards. In early April 2016, the EU promised Sudan 155 million Euros for refugee projects – despite the ongoing war crimes.”
Most recently, twelve barrel bombs were dropped on the villages Taulow, Umserdiba and Buram on April 21. On April 19, two barrel bombs hit the village of Hajar Katuka, and four more exploded in Um Dorain. On April 17, six bombs hit the village Dalami. At the beginning of April 2016, there had been even more intensive attacks: In the course of a large military offensive, about 30 barrel bombs had been dropped every day. Around 25 villages were destroyed due to the bombings and the ground fighting.
Header Photo: © Rita Willaert via Flickr