Children in war-zone

First official report from inside rebel held territory

30 December 2012
SRRA Report 1

(Kampala) – A horrifying picture of the fate of more than one million Sudanese living with constant bombing and artillery attacks from government forces is contained in the accompanying report. In just one small area ­ – the payam of Wadaka in Blue Nile – 1,205 people have starved to death, ­ half of them children.

This special 21-page report is the first definitive assessment of the situation by the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA) ­ the relief wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N), which has been fighting for the lives of its people since they were attacked by government forces in June 2011.

Aid corridor

President Omar al-Bashir’s government in Khartoum has consistently refused to allow aid agencies access to these people. Talks mediated by the African Union have failed to persuade his administration. Proposals from the United Nations have been rejected and ignored.

Farmer with failed cropIt is vital that an air and land corridor for aid, suggested by the United Nations, and accepted, without preconditions by the SPLM-N on 4 August 2012, be implemented without further delay.  The nine conditions imposed by the government in Khartoum make the plan unviable.

‘The Government of Sudan is impeding humanitarian access to its citizens in need’, says Philip Neroun, Director of the SRRA, ‘and many lives are at risk’.

The international community must act now, if further lives are not to be lost.

‘The international community must urgently answer the scale of the suffering to ensure the faithful implementation of the Tripartite Initiative and the UN Security Council Resolution 2046 by the Government of Sudan,’ says Philip Neroun.

Hundreds of thousands trapped in a war zone

Fighting broke out after Sudanese government forces attacked northern soldiers who had been working alongside the southern resistance movement, the SPLM/A, during the Sudan second civil war. The Khartoum government has rejected all calls for a democratic solution to Sudan’s many problems.  It has cracked down on challenges to its monopoly on power from its citizens in the West (Darfur) as well as calls for change
from the far North and the East of Sudan.

On the 5th of June 2011 government forces around the town of Kadugli, in South Kordofan, attacked the forces that had been fighting alongside the SPLM/A for many years and the SPLM/A ­ North was forced to defend itself from the government onslaught. The conflict spread to Blue Nile by September 2011, laying waste to vast areas of what is called ‘the Two Areas’.

Despite the difficulties of collecting data in a war zone, aid workers from the SRRA have carefully documented the scale of the unfolding tragedy. Civilians, attacked by air and by land, have fled for their lives. Many are trapped by the fighting.

Table: Refugees, displaced and vulnerable civilians

Area Refugees IDPs in SPLM/A-N
controlled areas
Vulnerable population in SPLM/A-N controlled areas Total population in SPLM/A-N controlled areas
Blue Nile   150,000 flee to South Sudan and Ethiopia 79,550 88,781 98,003
South Kordofan 70,000 flee to South Sudan 436,157 736,329 995,200
  Total   220,000   515,707   825,110   1,093,203

  Source: SRRA team data collection

This information is being provided by the SRRA for the first time, so that aid can get to the needy.

Women hide from bombersHundreds of thousands are displaced inside the Two Areas, surviving in caves or in the bushes. They have little food and survive as best they can, without clean water and medicines. There are high levels of malnutrition.

In the rebel controlled areas people survive on roots collected from the forest, hiding in foxholes to escape the daily bombings by Antonov aircraft and suffering from malaria, diarrhea and skin diseases. The last harvesting season has been poor.

In this 21-page special report, ‘The Humanitarian and human rights situation of the IDPs and war affected civilians in the SPLM/A-North controlled areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States’, the SSRA is providing proof of the scale of this tragedy. The background, genesis of the conflict and the many failed peace attempts are detailed.

Contacts and background

For further information, please call: Philip Neroun, Director of the SRRA.

Telephone: +256703762588
Email: nerounk8@gmail.com             or

sudanrr.agency@yahoo.co.uk

Any of the document mentioned in the report can be sent if requested at the above email