For over five years now, the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – North (SPLM/A-N) have been engaged in a conflict in SPLA-N controlled areas of Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The conflict has been characterised by an unrelenting campaign of aerial and ground attacks at the hands of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).
Amnesty International’s monitoring of the conflict over the past five years has concluded that many of the attacks have targeted civilian objects and civilian areas which have no legitimate military objective. The attacks have also involved the use of weapons which are inherently indiscriminate, such as cluster bombs, or been carried out in situations which are inevitably indiscriminate due to the circumstances of the attack, such as the use of unguided bombs dropped from Antonov aircraft in civilian areas.
As a consequence of the targeted and indiscriminate aerial and ground attacks, as well as the denial of humanitarian access, civilians in South Kordofan continue to experience gross and systemic human rights violations, including to the rights to life, healthcare, education, food, safe water and adequate housing. Amnesty International has concluded that the crimes under international law are of such a nature and scale that they may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This crisis cannot be ignored any longer. The UNSC, the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development must urgently address serious concerns with respect to civilian protection, humanitarian access, human rights monitoring and justice, truth and reparation.