Sudan

UN Mission in Sudan News Bulletin - 13 May 2007

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The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Government bombardments in North Darfur

On 11 May, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that it received reports on a series of aerial bombardments in North Darfur, carried out by the Government forces between 19 and 29 April. According to the OHCHR, the bombardments appear to have been indiscriminate and disproportionate. "Failing to distinguish between military and civilian objectives and the disproportionate use of force constitute violations of international humanitarian and human rights law", the OHCHR said. According to OHCHR, the attacks were reportedly carried out with helicopter gunships and Antonov aircraft. They resulted in numerous civilian casualties and destruction of property, school buildings and livestock. In one incident cited by the UN Secretary-General in his statement dated 9 May, the school in the village of Um Rai was struck by rockets fired from a Government helicopter. Some of the 170 pupils in the school at the time were injured in that particular attack. Two civilians were killed in the attack on the village. Some of the other villages attacked in the 10-day period include Al Jira, Anka, Birmaza and Hashaba. The OHCHR said that it was seeking to gather more information from the area on the attacks and their results, and that these attacks have contributed to an already critical humanitarian situation, causing renewed displacement and spreading terror among the civilian population.

Security and Humanitarian Developments in Darfur

On 10 May, unknown armed men attacked a national NGO vehicle with three staff members on board in Assaliya locality (117 km Southeast of Nyala). The attackers attempted to ambush the vehicle and fired shots at it. The vehicle managed to drive through the ambush and the staff reported the incident at Assaliya town.

Security and Humanitarian Developments in Southern Sudan and the Transitional Areas

On 11 May, four armed men, allegedly SPLA soldiers, assaulted people at Panyok in Abyei. The attackers reportedly stooped a lorry transporting about 60 people. They told the driver of the lorry that he should obtain permission from them before undertaking any traveling to the south. They assaulted all the 60 passengers of the lorry, beating them with sticks. No serious injuries were reported. The local police in Abyei is investigating the report.

On 9 MAY, n anti-tank mine was discovered on the road Torit-Kapoeta. The UN Mine Action Office was informed in order to take appropriate action.

On 10 May, in Lobira (60 km East of Torit) , a group of women working in a field were shot at. One woman was killed, while two other women were admitted to Torit Hospital with severe gun shot wounds. The injured women, who are from Lotuko tribe, said they suspected the attackers to be from Boya tribe, as the Lotuko tribe has an ongoing conflict with the Boya tribe mainly related to cattle raiding and access to water.

On 8 May, and following the death of a local tribesman in a traffic accident involving an SPLA vehicle in Torit, the tribe of the deceased opened fire on the SPLA vehicle, killing one soldier and injuring three others.

On 8 May, an SPLA convoy was ambushed by unknown attackers Kapoeta (100 km Northeast of Torit). One SPLA soldier was killed and 2 others were injured.

On 9 May, a group of about 30 armed men, allegedly from Toposa tribe, ambushed 2 trucks heading to Torit at Farasika (100 km Northeast of Torit). The truck driver was killed and 2 passengers were injured.

* All UNMIS News Bulletins are available at www.unmis.org