The National Islamic Front (NIF) government in Khartoum has for the last one week intensified aerial bombardment of civil and civilian targets all over Southern Sudan. Most of these bombardments have been carried out using MIG-29 bombers recently acquired by the rogue regime from Russia.
Yesterday September 23, 2002, two MIG-29 bombed Yei town. The bombs targeted the main Catholic Church in the centre of the town where several Christians were celebrating the United Nations (UN) Day for Peace. The bombing that took place as prayers were going on at 11am was timed to coincide with the service to cause maximum damage to the worshippers. Fortunately, the bombs missed the Church but destroyed two adjacent buildings.
Earlier on Saturday September 21, 2002, a combination of MIG-29 bombers and an Antonov targeted a camp for the Internally Displaced Peoples' (IDP) at Amadi in Mundri county, Western Equatoria. In the bombing that started at 9:00am and lasted over one hour 17 people were killed on the spot and many more were wounded. Among the dead were the whole family of Mamer Mum, his wife, his 80-year-old mother and 7 children. Another family of Monychol Kun consisting of five was also wiped out. In the bombings, over 200 heads of cattle were killed and many more injured. Most of the displaced are from Bor County in Central Upper Nile who were due to return home during the coming dry season. The Amadi IDP camp is near the town of Lui that was bombed on September 14, 2002.
On the same day September 21, 2002, the Government of Sudan (GOS) Antonov bombed Wunrok and Mon relief centres in Twic county, Northern Bhar El Ghazal killing two people and 46 heads of cattle. The same Antonov dropped 8 bombs on the Peace Market of Abid Dau killing two boys of 13 and 3 years respectively. Two women and four men were seriously wounded in the same incident and were evacuated to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Hospital in Lokichoggio.
It is to be noted that Abid Dau is located South of River Kiir near Abyei and is frequented by both Arab and Dinka traders hence the name Peace Market. The attack on Wunrok, Mon and Abid Dau follows an earlier helicopter gunship attack on Kiir Kon and Atar in Central Upper Nile. In the Atar attack which also involved the Antonov, nine people were killed and 65 heads of cattle destroyed. Also at Ganga in Abyei county an Antonov dropped 14 bombs on September 20th at 11:00am killing the whole family while asleep.
On Thursday 19th September 2002, the Antonov and two helicopter gunships bombed several villages around Bor town. The five villages targeted were Yomciir, Pariak, Anyidi, Ajager and Mabior. In all, several people were seriously injured but cannot be evacuated to any hospital due to bad weather conditions and ban of flights to the area by the GOS.
These attacks are absolutely unjustified since they are on non-military targets. The targeted areas are IDPs' camps, simple villages, cattle camps, churches and market places. There is no reason in targeting civilians and civilian objectives except for the motive of the implementation of the Scorch to Earth Cruel Policy which the Khartoum regime has declared on the South and other marginalized areas. In this regard, the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) calls on the international community to take note of these heinous crimes being meted on innocent civilians by the racist clique.
The blanket aerial bombardment of civil infrastructure, in our view, is also meant to further complicate the peace process. Khartoum, true to its lies, is sending emissaries all over the world that they are for peace and that it is the SPLM/SPLA that should be pressurized to accept a cease-fire. The events of the last one-week where the regime has gone on mad aerial bombardment does not testify to this alleged gesture of peace posturing. This attitude by Khartoum is one of the reasons why the SPLM/SPLA cannot accept a declaration of a cease-fire that is likely to bless Khartoum's continuous aerial bombardment of our population. The regime should come to the Peace Talks at Machakos so that a cease-fire can be negotiated upon after a comprehensive resolution of the conflict is achieved.
Dr. Samson L. Kwaje
Commissioner for Information and
Official Spokesman SPLM/SPLA
23rd September, 2002 - Nairobi