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Advocacy & campaigns

Sudan: The Deadly Silence of the International Community

Osman Naway

2013-03-07, Issue 619

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The regime in Khartoum is killing its own people through bombardment, starvation, detention and torture. Someone needs to stop this tragedy, now.

Since November12, 2012 more than 30 Nuba women with their children are suffering inside the Sudanese security detentions, subjected to severe torture and denied access to medical treatment and family visits. One of those women is now suffering from serious spinal injury due to torture. Their detention came after escalating military attacks between the two fighting sides in Nuba mountains, the Sudanese Peoples Librations Movement/North and the Sudanese Armed forces in Kadugli and Dillanj cities - the main cities in Nuba mountains - during August-October 2012. The Sudanese security accused the women of spying for the SPLM/N, and the only evidence of this accusation is that those women are from the Nuba ethnicity, the main ethnicity supporting SPLM/N in NUba mountains. This ethnic based detention of Nuba women and their children comes along with the grave violations the Sudanese government continues to commit in Nuba mountains and other war regions, while the international community is doing little to stop the Sudanese government killing, torturing and starving its own peoples.

In the recent OCHA-Sudan fourth quarter report on the humanitarian situation in Sudan and specially Nuba mountains/ Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, the figures of the most of affected populations in dire need of humanitarian aid exceeded one million, half million at least are IDPs inside the SPLM/N holding areas in Nuba mountains. Those inside the SPLM/N areas are the ones suffering the most, as they are subjected to the daily bombardment by the Sudanese aircrafts in addition to the man-made famine whose main causes are the indiscriminate bombing which prevented the population from cultivating their own farms. The Sudanese government has in the past 20 years prevented aid agencies from entering the SPLM/N holding areas and in Nuba mountains.

While women use trees leaves during their period and their children eat bugs and worms to survive for another day, the international community is still calling for negotiations and a political solution that could take years not just months; completely ignoring the hundreds of thousands of lives that could be lost while the negotiations or the political solutions are sought.
The 2046 UN Security Council Resolution which called on the Sudanese government and the SPLM/N to work with the United Nations, League of Arab Nations and the African Union on their tripartite initiative to deliver aid to the peoples In the SPLM/N holding areas in Nuba mountains and Blue Nile faced serious obstacles. The Sudanese government continued playing its games of signing without implementing, or only showing up at the negotiations without any serious commitment . Khartoum agreed to sign two memoranda of understanding with the tripartite initiative on August 2012, but according to the OCHA- Sudan latest report, ‘The period for implementation of the Memoranda of Understanding expired at the beginning of November, without having succeeded in delivering a single sack of food or a single box of medicines to civilians in the SPLM-N areas.’

New urgent calls for action, letters to the human rights mechanisms, letters to the United Nations signed by dozens of international and local NGOs come to the inbox of these institutions every morning, urging them to take serious steps to save the lives of thousands of Sudanese peoples in Nuba mountains, Blue Nile and Darfur. But its seems all these calls are falling into deaf ears, and the emails goes to the spam folders. But with the time running out the starving children in Nuba mountains and the women facing live threatening torture without medical treatment or hope of being released anytime soon will not wait to the international community and its institutions to wake up and listen. They may lose their lives in any minute; unfortunately we cannot say ‘precious lives’ because it does not seems so as they are losing their lives under the watch of the whole world with global forces took vows many times not to stand still watching humanity being violated and killed for unjustified reasons, not even for any reasons. But the peoples of Sudan war zones are being killed every day because of the deadly silence of the same international community.

* Arry organization for Human rights director, Mr. Osman Naway

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