Darfur children born without eyes due to bombs- source presumes

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Seven women belonging to the new wave of displaced persons from South Jebel Marra in Central Darfur gave birth to children born without their eyes, presumably due to remnants of aerial bombardments in the region, an activist said on Monday.

On 17 February five people died following "heavy bombing" by the Sudanese government in South Jebel Marra. Witnesses revealed the bombs used by then were "different" and could not be seen "with the naked eye".

Its residues caused diarrhea and eye infections among children, miscarriages among women as well as death of livestock, sources asserted, adding that 23 children had died after drinking water polluted by the shelling.

The children, according to the activist, have their eye sockets empty with only the shape of their eyelids. He said three women gave birth to babies with the same deficiency in Gorolombay and another four in Tonga, adding both communities are located in South Jebel Marra.

In order to find out the exact reason behind the babies’ deficiency, the activist is urging doctors to visit the mothers and analyze their conditions.

He stressed citizens want to know if the children were born this way because of aerial bombings or because of something else.

However, he noted this phenomenon has never occurred in the region reinforcing their belief that aerial bombings are the cause of the babies’ condition.

The situation in South Jebel Marra is “extremely dangerous” at the moment, the source was quoted as saying. He stressed that organizations are not allowed to enter the region and bring medicines to health centers.

Children continue contracting diarrhea and women continue suffering miscarriages after drinking water from sources polluted by toxic bombings, the activist said. Meanwhile, civilians appealed to the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Darfur to protect them.

The activist told Radio Dabanga the Jebel Marra region is being bombed “every day since 2003” and he denounced the silence of the international and domestic community concerning the situation.

“Where is the International Criminal Court and where is the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions?” he asked.

“Thousands more displaced”

Activists in South Jebel Marra estimate that as of January 2013 the number of displaced from Gorolombay increased from 4.500 to 7.325.

He attributed it to clashes between the government and the rebel movement Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) in Central Darfur and “daily aerial bombings”.

The village of Tina in Central Darfur also saw the amount of displaced increase from 2.500 to 5.000, according to the activists' calculations.

They believe some of these people are fleeing to Tur in Central Darfur (3.715), others to Kass in South Darfur (1.515) and others to Kabkabiya in North Darfur (4.000).

The United States suggested that in the first month of 2013, “more civilians have been newly displaced by violence in Darfur than in all of 2012”.