Sudan

U.S. Committee for Refugees Deplores Clinton Administration's Inaction on Escalated Bombing of Civilian Targets in Sudan

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In the last five weeks, the Government of Sudan's air forces have bombed civilian targets with increasing frequency. The targets being hit are schools, hospitals and relief centers operated by international aid groups. These include: Comboni Primary School (Kauda, February 7th, fourteen children killed, eighteen injured), Samaritan's Purse's hospital (Lui, March 1st, two killed), Concern Worldwide's relief center (Yirol, March 6th), Samaritan's Purse's hospital (Lui, March 7th),Voice of the Martyrs' hospital (March 14th, one killed, one injured), and the Diocese of Torit hospital (Nimule, March 14th, one killed, seven injured) as well as uncounted villages, markets, and displaced persons centers.
"The Government of Sudan has routinely bombed civilian and humanitarian targets since it came to power," said Roger P. Winter, Executive Director of the U.S. Committee for Refugees. "When it is 'only' Sudanese civilians who are targeted, the world, including the U.S., almost never reacts. Perhaps this escalation of bombing humanitarian targets supported by foreign assistance groups, including many American groups, will generate an actual international response."

The State Department has periodically issued statements denouncing the bombings. The President, who has not reacted publicly to such humanitarian and human rights tragedies in Sudan before, issued a statement on February 14th responding to the Kauda bombing. However, beyond words on paper, the Administration has taken no visible steps to stop the bombing of civilian targets in Sudan.

"It is long passed time for President Clinton himself to act on these egregious violations of international law. He should immediately seek UN Security Council approval of a 'no fly' zone for Sudanese Government military aircraft over relevant areas of Sudan or take other effective measures to achieve this purpose," stated Winter.

Additional information is available at http://www.refugees.org/news/crisis/sudan.htm

The U.S. Committee for Refugees is a private, nonprofit, humanitarian organization that works for the protection and assistance of uprooted people around the world.

Contact: Melissa Wyers (202) 347-3507