This Thanksgiving, let us give thanks for what we have in our lives and seek to bring blessings into the lives of those who lack them.
As I write this article, Sudanese Armed Forces are amid an offensive against the Sudan Revolutionary Front that has largely been a failure. We are thankful that those who defend themselves against genocide have thus far been able to withstand the offensive. For many thousands of innocent civilians, however, there is no way to withstand the indiscriminate bombing of villages. From November 21-25 alone, nearly 25,000 civilians have become displaced from the intentional bombing of civilian targets. More than 460,000 people have been displaced over the course of this year.
The Khartoum Regime continues its regular campaign of displacement and ethnic cleansing and genocide through bombing huts and fields.
A video was released on November 18 of such a bombing along with a plea from Yassir Arman for help. Here is the plea. The video (graphic and difficult to watch) follows:
This video is what happened yesterday, the 17th of November, in Buram, Nuba Mountains. To all those who continue to appease the Khartoum regime and ignore the solid facts on the ground, the Khartoum regime is targeting civilian populations in Sudan, committing war crimes, and killing the very children who need to be vaccinated. And for the families of these children, the air and ground bombardment of Khartoum is a more visible threat than polio. This is a fact that many in Africa and in international community circles are deliberately ignoring because admitting it would require them to provide civilian protection as per international humanitarian law, and for them, it is better to keep a blind eye when the government of Sudan has denied access of humanitarian assistance for civilian populations for two years and is terrorizing and killing the civilian populations at the same time. We hope this video will make them, for once, tell the truth. The silence of some circles in the international community is providing the environment for General Bashir to continue killing and targeting the civilian populations in the rural and urban areas of Sudan without being questioned by anyone, even by some of those who indicted him. Bashir is being given a blank check by some circles within the international community to kill the people of Sudan, but the Sudanese people will continue to resist him and defend their right to peace, democracy, the respect of human rights, and the right for equal citizenship. We call upon all who value human life and human dignity to wage a campaign for unhindered access for humanitarian assistance in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Darfur as well as a humanitarian cessation of hostilities that addresses the civilian humanitarian needs, as required by humanitarian international law, without conditioning them on a political agenda. Civilian populations should not be punished for political purposes or gain. The right for humanitarian aid and protection is guaranteed by international humanitarian law.
Secretary General, SPLM-N
Secretary for External Affairs, SRF
November 18, 2013
There are conflicting reports about what happened overnight at the Yarmouk weapons factory just south of Khartoum. The Sudan Tribune reports that Sudanese officials are denying reports that any foreign entity was involved and that the explosion was occurred during routine maintenance of the facility. However, the Times of Israel quotes Minister of Information Ahmed Belal Osman as saying that four aircraft coming from the east struck the facility. The Sudanese minister is quoted as saying that Sudan believes that Israel carried out the attack and that Sudan may seek to take the matter to the UN Security Council.
Weaponry from China and Iran is evidently stored and distributed from Yarmouk in addition to whatever weaponry the factory produces itself. It is entirely possible that Israel did indeed strike the factory. Israel has said nothing about the matter, its usual response to such questions.
Some might ask, why would Israel strike Sudan? It is possible that at least some of the weaponry that reaches the Gaza strip originate in Sudan. Iranian weapons delivered to Sudan could be destined for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or others in Gaza. Considering the rocket barrages now faced by Israel and the recent cross border attacks against Israeli soldiers, it is entirely possible that Israel chose to strike at the source of the weaponry used. We will likely never know.
The extent of the damage at the factory is unknown at this time.
UPDATE*****November 25, 2012
We now firmly believe that Israel did in fact strike the complex in order to take out 40 shipping containers most likely filled with long range rockets destined for Gaza. Iranian ships docked at the Port of Sudan only a few days after the strike and were likely there to transport the weaponry to the Sinai Peninsula where they would be smuggled into Gaza. Here are a few articles that add more details.
From J.E. Dyer on October 24
From the Guardian Newspaper citing the Satellite Sentinel Project on October 27
An article by Compass Direct News reports of the intentional aerial bombardment of churches and mosques in South Kordofan in attempts to terrorize the civilian population there:
Humanitarian agencies consider the Islamic government’s targeting of civilians in the Nuba Mountains, which has a large Christian population, an “ethnic cleansing” against non-Arab peoples in the multi-ethnic state, with the added incentive of ridding the area of Christians, he said.
Churches in the Nuba Mountains are holding worship services very early in the morning and late in the evening in order to avoid aerial bombardments that target their churches, he said. Most of the bombings take place during daytime, when visibility is better for pilots of the Russian-made Antonov planes.