THE Sudanese government
is "continuing to kill its own people with impunity", the CEO of
the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), Baroness Cox, said last
week, after visiting the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile regions of
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's
Sunday programme this week, Lady Cox said: "If the
international community continues to fail to intervene in ways
which will stop this ethnic cleansing of the peoples of the Blue
Nile and South Kordofan, it will be seen as complicit." Lady Cox
said that 230 bombs had been dropped on civilians in Blue Nile
state in one month alone; in Southern Kordafan, 30 bombs a day had
been dropped on civilians.
"They can't harvest their
crops; they can't get food; they're dying in their own country, or
forced to flee into exile."
The President of Sudan,
Omar al-Bashir, had reneged on an agreement to allow aid
organisations access to Blue Nile, Lady Cox said. "So there's
virtually no health care in Blue Nile; there's no immunisation;
people are dying of hunger. One village we visited, 400 people had
died of hunger. We've got to get aid to those people."
Lady Cox said that the
British Government had said that "it wants to continue to talking
to Khartoum. Well, that's fine, but Khartoum . . . uses talking to
buy time for its own genocidal policies."
Lady Cox called on the
British Government to set up an independent committee "to
investigate what are prima facie crimes against humanity". She also
called for "targeted sanctions" against the government in Khartoum
"to stop the aerial bombardment of its own people".
Last Friday, the Bishop
of Kadugli, the Rt Revd Andudu Adam Elnail, whose diocese is in the
Nuba Mountains of Southern Kordofan, met the former UN humanitarian
co-ordinator for Sudan, Dr Mukesh Kapila, to discuss the
humanitarian crisis in the region. Bishop Elnail and Dr Kapila both
called on the African Union (AU) to address the crisis when it
meets in Addis Adaba today.
In a statement issued by
Crisis Action, an NGO, Bishop Elnail said: "This is a war of horror
where children are dying every day. There are no vaccinations,
medicine; there is nothing. In December, there were over 230
bombings. We are calling for AU leadership at its summit next week.
This is a rare opportunity that we mustn't miss."
Dr Kapila said: "Ten
years ago, when I was UN chief in Darfur, I tried to alert the
world to what was happening, but it was too late. Today, in
Southern Kordofon and Blue Nile, I've seen 'Darfur plus plus', with
modern weaponry at play. I appeal to the AU to look at the
humanitarian situation as a priority."
The Bishop of Bradford,
the Rt Revd Nick Baines, said during a visit to Sudan last week
that the creation of a separate state of South Sudan (
News, 15 July 2011) had resulted in the forced departure of
Writing his blog, Bishop Baines said that the Episcopal
Church of the Sudan was "suffering from the forced departure of
southerners - many of whom exercised leadership and responsibility
in and through the Church".