Report 2016: „Five Years and Counting“

Humanitäre Krise in Südkordofan

Die Regierung des Sudans lehnt den humanitären Zugang zu SPLA-N kontrollierten Bereichen ab und zieht somit die humanitäre Krise in die Länge.

Amnesty International besuchte den UN-Sicherheitsrat um unmittelbare Schritte zu bewirken, um die zahlreichen Verletzungen gegen die internationalen Menschenrechten zu beenden. Amnesty International fordert eine unabhängige, gerechte und wirksame Untersuchung der vorliegenden Verletzungen gegenüber den internationalen Menschenrechten und humanitären Gesetzen.

Lesen Sie mehr über die humanitäre Krise in Südkordofan im neuen report:
„Five years and counting – intensified aerial bombardment, ground offensive and humanitarian crisis in Sudans’s South Kordofan state“

Südkordofan – ein fast vergessener Konflikt in Ostafrika

Seit Beginn der bewaffneten Konflikts im Juni 2011 zwischen der sudanesischen Regierung und der Sudanesischen Volksbefreiungsbewegung / Armee-Nord (SPLM / AN), haben die Menschen in SPLA-N kontrollierten Gebieten in Südkordofan unter Luft- und Bodenangriffen der sudanesischen Armee gelitten.

Die sudanesische Regierung hat immer wieder den humanitären Zugang zu den von der SPLA-N kontrollierten Gebieten verweigert mit verheerenden Folgen für die Nahrungsmittelversorgung und die medizinische Versorgung der Bevölkerung.
Die Zerstörung oder Beschädigung ziviler Objekte wie Häuser, Krankenstationen, Schulen und Märkte ist für die Zivilbevölkerung eine humanitäre Katastrophe.
Durch den zum Teil wahllosen Abwurf von Streubomben wurden und werden Felder und Ernten vernichtet.

Amnesty International betrachtet den Konflikt in Südkordofan als Kriegsverbrechen.

Eine Delegation hat vor wenigen Wochen die Gebiete besucht und dafür viele Beweise gesammelt und dies in einem Report ausführlich dargelegt.

 ‘Stop education, lose a generation’

Tough lessons for refugees fleeing Sudan’s overlooked crisis

By Alex Neve, secretario general de Amnistía Internacional Canadá, 7 May 2015, 11:17 UTC

People flee fighting in Southern Kordofan FILE Photo 2011 EPA/ PAUL BANKS /

People flee fighting in Southern Kordofan FILE Photo 2011 EPA/ PAUL BANKS /

HANDOUT

In a forgotten corner of South Sudan – a country itself mired in war, human rights violations and a staggering humanitarian catastrophe – refugees from a largely overlooked human rights crisis continue to arrive and continue to face immense challenges.

The refugee camps of Yida and Adjoung Thok lie inside the northern tip of the country’s Unity State (a cruelly ironic name for a state that has seen some of the worst fighting in the country’s current civil war), very close to the border that was etched into atlases when it gained independence from Sudan in July 2011.

They have  arrived here from neighbouring Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state, where an overlooked human rights crisis has played out during four unrelenting years of armed conflict and at the Sudanese armed forces’ massive and indiscriminate military assault.

These refugees number around 95,000 and continue to arrive daily. Just imagine the desperation that makes fleeing to war ravaged South Sudan, a more attractive option than enduring the bombing, terror and hunger in Southern Kordofan.   

In Unity State, refugees are primarily divided between two camps: 70,000 in Yida, where we are today, and another 25,000 in nearby Adjoung Thok. This is the third time in three years that I have been to Yida with an Amnesty team. Already I feel heavy with the familiarity of the immense challenges here, and determined that we must press harder for solutions that ensure the rights of an incredibly vulnerable population are upheld.   

“Here the survivors of untold endless atrocities grapple with normalising their lives; seeking basic needs of food, water, shelter and clothing and perhaps even satisfy the yearning of a much elusive education.”

Since it was set up in 2011, there has been controversy about Yida’s location, only some 20 kilometres from the border with a country where war continues to rage between the Sudanese military and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – North (SPLA-N) opposition forces.   

Here the survivors of untold endless atrocities grapple with normalising their lives; seeking basic needs of food, water, shelter and clothing and perhaps even satisfy the yearning of a much elusive education.

Alex Neve

We were here in 2012 and there were efforts under way to encourage refugees to move to a new camp, Nyel, which it was feared would turn into a swampy bog during the rainy season.  That failed.  We were here in 2013 and the plan was a move to the new Adjoung Thok site. This time refugees feared it took them closer to a border area controlled by the Sudanese military, whereas the border near Yida is patrolled by the SPLA-N.   

With time, however, Adjoung Thok has begun to fill up, mainly with newly arriving refugees (there have been 10,000 since the end of December, the dry season which saw a spike in bombings in Southern Kordofan).

Those debates about location and moving were fraught with legitimate fears and rampant rumours.  They were about sticking to refugee protection principles, but politics have played a role as well.

And so, on this current visit it comes as no surprise that the first topic on everyone’s mind is, again, a new site and plans to move. And once again there is disagreement. The South Sudanese government has approved one site, now backed by the UN and donor states; refugee leaders are pressing for another. It is not at all clear how it will unfold. There is no prospect of forcing refugees onto trucks at gunpoint. But there are many other forces pushing and pulling them in several different directions.

Particularly telling for me today were the words from one of the leaders in the camp, variations of which I’ve heard before. He asked: why don’t our views matter? Why don’t we get to decide about our own security, where we will send our kids to school, and where we will try to rebuild our lives by growing a bit of food? I remembered the fiery insistence of a refugee woman on my last visit that she was the one, better than anyone, who knew where she and her children would be safest.

One pressing concern that has repeatedly come up so poignantly every time I have been here is education. It has again certainly been prominent in all of our conversations in the camp today.

Because international donors think refugees shouldn’t be settling in Yida for the long term, they have refused to fund a number of programmes and initiatives that they fear would give it a sense of permanence. That has included schools. Imagine the numbers of school-age children in a camp of 65,000 people. There are around 16,000 of primary school age alone. Four years into Yida’s existence, there are no schools funded by the international community – four wasted years in a child’s life. No UNICEF blue backpacks, no teachers salaried by the European Union, no notebooks and pencils coming in from Canada and Australia, no schools constructed by South Africa. This is despite the fact that all children, whatever their circumstances, have a right to free and compulsory primary education.

Schools are on offer in Adjoung Thok of course; and that is meant be an incentive to move there. It has encouraged some, but most remain at Yida. So thousands of students are learning in makeshift schools built with the same rudimentary materials as the shelters they sleep in. Volunteers from among the refugee community (some of whom were teachers, most not) do their best to teach. And refugee families are asked to pay a school fee (the equivalent of about $4 per year, which most families here struggle to come up with, and which runs contrary to that universal right to free primary education).

Regardless of the merits of Yida versus Adjoung Thok, or of the two locations that are the subject of the current dispute, there is something worrying about using such an important human right, the right to education, as a bargaining chip.

Because as one leader put it to us today, when you stop education, you lose a generation. And this overlooked crisis in a forgotten corner cannot afford that loss.

Where bombs rain terror from the sky while the world looks the other way

By Alex Neve

SOUTH KORDOFAN – Time and again, as we have interviewed women, men and young people throughout Sudan’s besieged South Kordofan state, people have had not just one account of personal tragedy to share but several.

That is perhaps the most heartbreaking measure of how entrenched this human rights and humanitarian crisis has become.  After four years, the people of South Kordofan have seen the violence and injustice come around several times: more bombs, more displacement, more hunger, more loss and more death.  This is a cruel campaign that does not only strike once.

These are not the stories of those caught on the front-line by chance. But civilians deliberately targeted.

In none of the sites we visited did we see or hear of any evidence of nearby military targets that might have justified the attacks.  In fact one woman told me that the Antonov bombers spend much more time raining hell around villages and sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs), than they do at the front-lines of the fighting.  

Alfadil Khalifa Mohamed, a teacher, emotionally told us of an Antonov attack at an IDP site in February.  When his wife, Nahid, who was eight months pregnant, heard the ominous droning of the plane, she ran to ensure children in the vicinity – including her own young son – made it to safety.  

Nahid was struck down by shrapnel and killed immediately.  But the baby was still alive.   But in a region with only one surgical hospital still operating (days away by foot), there was nowhere to turn for medical attention to save the baby’s life. Numerous other hospital and clinics have closed or been scaled back after being bombed, sometimes repeatedly.

Two months later the Antonovs returned.  Alfadil and Nahid’s two year old son was hiding in the family’s shelter, along with his grandmother.  That shelter was completely destroyed in the bombing, but fortunately the boy and his grandmother were not killed.  

Alfadil speaking to Amnesty International researchers during the mission in South Kordofan.   Photo courtesy of Amnesty International

Alfadil speaking to Amnesty International researchers during the mission in South Kordofan.   Photo courtesy of Amnesty International

Alfadil then made arrangements to send his son to one of the refugee camps in South Sudan, where his wife’s mother now lives.  As he told us, “they killed my wife, they killed our baby, and they almost killed our son.  I cannot keep losing my family.”  

Zainab, a 75 year old woman, surrounded by children of all ages busy either helping with chores or playing games, shared her family’s account of being displaced twice since 2012.  They fled first when their village was bombed and then had to flee again when their place of refuge (an IDP site) was similarly attacked a year later.  

With resignation and certainty Zainab assured us that if we come back next year we will likely find that she has had to run away again.

Similarly, a family living in a small village on the edge of a large IDP site were terrorised in February of this year when a bomb loaded with cluster munitions landed on their property, causing considerable damage but fortunately not death or injury.  It was a close call and they decided to move into the IDP site – a long ribbon of shelters nestled into the base of the Nuba Mountains – in the hope that the rocks, crags and caves would offer protection.  

But only two months later an Antonov attacked and a bomb landed near the site’s sorghum milling machine.  Shrapnel flew in many directions, and this newly displaced family’s two year-old daughter was one of seven who were killed.

For four years civilians have been under attack in South Kordofan.  The Sudanese military, determined at any cost to defeat the SPLA-North opposition that is fighting for greater autonomy for the state, has sealed opposition controlled areas off from the outside world. It has waged an unrelenting campaign of indiscriminate aerial and ground attacks clearly intended to terrorise the civilian population.

In this file photo, a child looks at burning remnants after an Antonov dropped two bombs in Kauda, southern Kordofan, Sudan on 29 April 2012. © Private

In this file photo, a child looks at burning remnants after an Antonov dropped two bombs in Kauda, southern Kordofan, Sudan on 29 April 2012. © Private

Antonov, MIG and Sukhoi aircraft rain bombs and missiles down from the air.  Long range shelling sends artillery rockets streaking into distant communities. Food crops have been destroyed with farmers too fearful to plant and harvest.  Sudan’s humanitarian blockade means food relief doesn’t get in; nor do badly needed medicines, or supplies and funding to support schools.

We have seen unexploded rockets, cluster munitions, bomb craters, and shrapnel fragments and destroyed or damaged property on the grounds of or immediately beside hospitals and medical clinics, primary and secondary schools, family compounds, IDP sites, football fields, sorghum mills, food stores, NGO premises, and a prisoner of war camp; all of which are protected under international law (since directing an attack against a zone established to shelter the wounded, the sick and civilians from the effects of hostilities is prohibited).  

However, in the face of such agonizing hardship and misery, the resilience and determination we also encountered – everywhere – was nothing short of remarkable.

Like Alfadil, despite all that has befallen him and his family, he remains loyal to serving as a teacher in the makeshift school that is providing primary education for approximately 700 students, with classes as large as 150.  The thirteen teachers, only some of whom are trained, work as volunteers, barely equipped with textbooks or even chalk. Amidst this despair, Alfadil still declares: “Only education will help us defend our freedom.”

Along with his account of painful loss, safety for his son and inspirational commitment to teaching, Alfadil had strong words for the international community: “The people of the Nuba Mountains have told the world, repeatedly, what is happening.  People come, ask questions and we tell them.  So it is known; but nothing changes.  Nothing happens.  Is it because we do not matter?” A question he poses to a seemingly silent world.  

We assured him that Amnesty International would ensure that the world does not forget the people of South Kordofan – that everybody here matters very much.    

Alex Neve is the Secretary General for Amnesty International Canada Section.

South Kordofan governor says 21 citizens killed in Habila attack

 

SOUTH KORDOFAN (31 Mar.)

At least 21 people were killed and dozens wounded in clashes between government troops and SPLA-North rebels in Habila town in Sudan’s South Kordofan State, a state official said.

South Kordofan Governor Adam Al Fekki said in a Monday statement that the attack by the rebels on Habila displaced over 2500 civilians.

He added that majority of the conflict-affected citizens fled to Dilling locality. He further pointed out that several houses were torched during the clashes.

SPLM-N military spokesman Arnu Ngutulu Lodi announced in a statement on Saturday that they defeated government troops and killed 54 SAF soldiers in Habila town. Radio Tamazuj could not independently verify the claims.

Clashes displace thousands in Sudan’s Kordofan

 

March 27, 2015 3:17 PM

Unbenannt1

Khartoum (AFP) – More than 20,000 people have been displaced by fighting between Sudanese troops and rebels this month in war-torn South Kordofan, the United Nations quoted the Sudanese government as saying Friday.

Government forces have been battling the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) in the southern Blue Nile and South Kordofan areas since 2011.

„Between March 9 and March 18, an estimated 23,600 people fled their homes“ according to the government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its weekly bulletin.

The displaced fled to the government-controlled „El Abassiya, Abu Jubaiha and Rashad towns“ and surrounding villages east of South Kordofan’s state capital Kadugli, HAC told the UN.

OCHA said it had not been able to verify the numbers itself because fighting was ongoing in parts of the state.

In November, government forces launched „Decisive Summer 2“ at the end of Sudan’s rainy season, which renders roads in the area impassable.

The assault has seen the government battling insurgent groups in the western region of Darfur, some of which are allied to the SPLA-N in the umbrella Sudan Revolutionary Front movement.

But the SPLA-N said on March 13 that it had attacked government garrisons in the Abu Jubaiha area and forced them to retreat, but the military said they had repulsed the attacks.

Both sides claimed to have inflicted heavy casualties on the other, but access to the area is limited, making it difficult to verify such claims.

Insurgents of the SPLA-N were allies of southern rebels during Sudan’s 22-year civil war, which ended in a 2005 peace deal and South Sudan’s eventual independence in July 2011.

Conflict broke out between former rebels from the SPLA-N and government forces in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in 2011.

Friedensabkommen in weiter Ferne

Gespräche für ein Friedensabkommen erneut gescheitert

In den umkämpften Provinzen Südkordofan und Blauer Nil erhalten internationale Hilfsorganisationen weiterhin keinen Zugang zu zehntausenden Notleidenden. Auch gibt es zwischen Sudan und Südsudan neue Spannungen. In der von beiden Nachbarländern beanspruchten Grenzregion Abyei Seit der Abspaltung von Südsudan im Juli 2011 konnte keine Einigung darüber erzielt werden, zu welchem der beiden Staaten die Region gehören soll. Nicht einmal darauf, wer berechtigt ist, über diese Frage abzustimmen, konnten sich die Regierungen in Khartum und Juba verständigen.

Bisher war ein Referendum vor allem an der Frage gescheitert, wer zur Teilnahme berechtigt sei. Neben der in der Region großen Bevölkerungsgruppe der Ngok Dinka, deren Loyalität Richtung Südsudan geht, wohnen hier zumindestzeitweise Angehörige der Misseriya. Diese nomadisch lebende Gruppe hat in der Vergangenheit häufig an der Seite Khartums in Konflikte eingegriffen. Während Khartum der Ansicht ist, dass die Misseriya über den Status von Abyei mitentscheiden sollen, will die Regierung von Südsudan genau dies verhindern. Ein weiterer Schauplatz militärischer Auseinandersetzungen bleibt Südkordofan mit den Nuba – Bergen.

Überzeugt von der Zugehörigkeit Südkordofans zum Südsudan schlossen sich dort Ende 2011 mehrere Rebellengruppen zur SFR (Sudan Revolutionary Front) zusammen und liefern sich seitdem erbitterte Kämpfe mit der nordsudanesischen Regierungsarmee um Machthaber Omar al-Bashir. Unzählige Zivilisten flüchteten vor den Bodenkämpfen und den flächendeckenden Bombardements in die Höhlen der Nuba-Berge und in Lager im Südsudan.

Während in Yida, dem größten Lager im Südsudan, die Geflüchteten bestrebt sind, ein Minimum an Normalität in ihr Leben zu bringen, bricht Mitte Dezember 2013 ein zweiter Konflikt aus. Diesmal auf dem Staatsgebiet des Südsudan. Ausgehend von der Hauptstadt Juba breitet sich der Konflikt wie ein Flächenbrand rasch über das ganze Land aus und ergreift auch den Bundesstaat Unity. Schon wieder befinden sich die Menschen im hier gelegenen Flüchtlingscamp Yida in Lebensgefahr.

Während der Internationale Strafgerichtshof prüft, inwieweit sich al-Bashar, Kiir und Machar in der langen Serie bisheriger Auseinandersetzungen an Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit schuldig gemacht haben, ist für die Zivilisten nicht an Frieden und Sicherheit zu denken. Auch die Lage in den Nuba-Bergen bleibt in höchstem Maße ungewiss.

Verhandlungen haben bisher nicht zu einer friedlichen Lösung der Konflikte in Südkordofan un sdBlue Nile geführt. Die jüngsten Gespräche in Addis Abbaba wurden am 18. Februar abgebrochen. Die Regierungsdelegation betonte, die Verhandlungen müssten sich auf die beiden Regionen beschränken, während die SPLM-N ein umfassendes Abkommen für alle Gebiete verlangt.

Neue Beweise zu Vergehen gegen Zivilpersonen

Sudan: Neue Beweise einer Taktik der verbrannten Erde gegen Zivilpersonen in der Provinz Blue Nile

Fast zwei Jahre nach Ausbruch bewaffneter Konflikte zwischen der sudanesischen Regierung und Rebellengruppen in Blue Nile im September 2011, setzt die sudanesische Armee die Angriffe gegen die Zivilbevölkerung weiter fort.. Anscheinend soll diese Strategie die Zivilbevölkerung aus den von Rebellen kontrollierten Gebieten vertreiben, aber ebenso auch die humanitären Organisationen. Der neue Report von Amnesty International hat die Kriegsverbrechen im Blue Nile State im Focus, weist aber ebenso auf die zunehmende Militarisierung in den Flüchtlingslagern durch die Rebellen im Südsudan hin.

Link zum englischsprachigen Report

 

This video shot on AI’s recent mission to Blue Nile State, Sudan which can be used to illustrate the report which is published today.

It includes shot of those displaced from their homes, sheltering under trees from the intense heat. It has images of a burnt-out school where the children had drawn images of conflict on the walls and footage and testimonies from those in camps and still on the move. It also shows AI’s research team talking to those affected.

It is free for use for broadcast or non-broadcast purposes and can be downloaded from the link below. Link zum Video

Das Dilemma der Grenzgebiete

Das Dilemma der Menschen in den Grenzgebieten zwischen den Staaten Sudan und Südsudan

Seit zwei Jahren hält die Bombardierung des Grenzgebietes zwischen Sudan und Südsudan an. Die Unvorhersehbarkeit der Angriffe aus der Luft macht die Situation für die Menschen in der betroffenen Region Südkordofan besonders unerträglich. Beinahe jede Familie hat sich ein Versteck in der Erde gebaut oder nutzt Felshöhlen oder auch nur Bäume, um den andauernden Angriffen der Antonovs in Südkordofan zu entgehen. Manche Bomben landen auf den Feldern, zerstören die Ernte und Nahrungsmittelspeicher, halten die Menschen von der so dringend notwendigen Feldarbeit ab. Viele werden gezielt über Wohngebieten abgeworfen und töten oder verletzen oft mehrere Mitglieder einer Familie. Das Verstecken vor den Angriffen ist zur zentralen Lebensaufgabe geworden. Oft sind die Unterschlupfe jedoch unsicher und werden zur tödlichen Falle. Viele Menschen flüchten in die Nuba-Berge und in Flüchtlingslager im Südsudan.

Vor massiven Menschenrechtsverletzungen und der humanitären Krise in Südkordofan suchen aktuell ca. 60 000 Menschen Zuflucht im Flüchtlingslager Yida. Im Januar 2013 kamen noch etwa 1000 Neuankömmlinge pro Woche dazu. Gerade sie sagten bei einem Interview einem Mitarbeiter von Amnesty International (Alex Neve), dass das Bombardement aus der Luft durch die Sudanesische Luftwaffe fortgesetzt wird. Aber auch schrecklicher Hunger fordert zusätzliche Opfer.

Unverändert ist die Sorge der UN, dass das Lager Yida zu gefährlich ist, weil es nur 12 km von der Grenze entfernt ist und an einer wichtigen Straße liegt. Versuche, die Flüchtlinge in ein anderes, strategisch nicht so wichtig gelegenes Gebiet umzusiedeln, sind bislang fehlgeschlagen. Um den Druck auf die sudanesische Regierung zu erhöhen sollte der Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen dringend ein bereits existierendes Waffenembargo auf das ganze Land ausdehnen, welches momentan nur für Darfur gilt. Unter dem Punkt Aktionen-> Grenzgebiete finden Sie Einführungstexte zur Problematik und den Aufruf zur Beteiligung an der Aktion von Amnesty International welche sich an die Vereinten Nationen wendet.