The Sudanese Armed Forces have committed war crimes against the civilian population of South Kordofan, a new report published by Amnesty International has claimed.
Entitled ‘Don’t we matter? Four years of unrelenting attacks against Civilians of Sudan’s South Kordofan State,’ the report documents indiscriminate aerial bombardments and ground offensives, as well as the deliberate targeting of schools and hospitals by government forces.
Amnesty International deputy regional director Michelle Kagari said: "For years Sudanese Armed Forces have been raining down bombs and shells indiscriminately on civilian populations, destroying lives and livelihoods, and triggering a major humanitarian crisis.
"Targeting civilian infrastructure and civilian areas, which have no legitimate military objective, using prohibited weapons, and other weapons in an indiscriminate way are war crimes.
"It is time for the international community to stop averting its gaze from South Kordofan and take urgent action to end this conflict."
Amnesty claims that government forces dropped cluster munitions at four sites in two separate locations in Dalami and Umm Dorain counties, which led to several civilian casualties.
The Sudanese Air Force allegedly dropped more than 374 bombs on 60 locations across South Kordofan under the control of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) between January and April this year.
The aerial bombardments and ground shelling over this period killed at least 35 civilians, injured additional 70 individuals, and damaged civilian buildings including schools.
According to the report, the Sudanese warplanes bombed 26 health facilities including hospitals, clinics and health units in SPLA-N controlled areas since the start of the conflict in 2011.
In addition, the Sudanese Government blocked supply of humanitarian relief into areas controlled by the SPLA-N exacerbating a protracted humanitarian crisis and leaving the population without access to vaccinations and essential medicines.
The conflict has internally displaced approximately 1.4 million people, with the UN high commissioner for refugees claiming that nearly 100,000 people have fled to refugee camps in neighbouring South Sudan.