Rights activists fear Sudan’s conflict might result to ‘full blown war’
Monday, April 23, 2012
The ongoing escalating tension between the Republics of Sudan and South Sudan over border issue and oil installations, is a worrying concern for human rights activists attending the 51st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The activists therefore called on the international community including the African Union to intervene swiftly to avert what they believed might result the two East African neighbours into a possible ‘full blown war’.
The delegates made this call Wednesday afternoon during a
panel discussions on the human rights situations in Sudan on the sideline of
the 51st Ordinary Session. Most of the activists narrated in detail their
bizarre accounts of the nearly 40-year long armed conflicts, which according to
them, is marred by systematic attacks on innocent civilians, rape, among a host
of other war crime acts.
Many would recall that South Sudan gained independence last year making it the newest country in the world, but if the sorrowful varying accounts by these delegates most of whom are eyewitnesses, is anything to go by, the ongoing armed conflicts in one of Africa’s largest countries is not showing any sign of slow down.
Abdelbagi Jibril, an official at the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, is an expert on Sudan issue especially with the many decades long armed conflicts that plaque largest countries into senseless civil war. Having lived outside Sudan for the all these years, Jibril revealed that there are three areas in Sudan, that are official under the state of internal armed conflicts namely; Darfur, South Kordofan State and the Blue Nile.
He added; “But we have the fourth area that is the along the
international borders between Sudan and South Sudan. As you know Sudan was
divided into two last year and it was a painful experience for as Sudanese.
However, we accept with the fact that the spirit and hope that the move will
bring long lasting peace and stability not only in Sudan but also in the
sub-region as a whole.
But the recent development on the ground proves that we are wrong and the situation is really dangerous and terrible. There were reports of cross-border military operations, aerial bombardment of oil fields along the two borders. There are also ground attacks and this is creating a very difficult situation for the civilian population which is a gross violation of human rights,” he added.
He explained that at the moment the two countries are preparing what is seen by many as a ‘full blown war’ between the two countries, stressing that it must be prevented by all means if not the consequence will be catastrophic. He then called on the African Commission to ring the alarm bell and invite the international community as well as AU to avert the tensions.
Hassan Shire of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights
Defenders project, an advocacy rights group campaigning to make the innocent
civilian voices heard, however, observed that armed fighting has become a tool
for attacks, while others use it to liberate themselves from discrimination.
added; “That is indiscriminate fire in a civilian populated area, I mean taking
off from a based and then bombarding the same country is a war itself. That
creates mass displacement of movement of people. The second big concern is the
use of rape as a means humiliating enemies, where by militias and armed groups
use that to humiliate the entire communities.
Because in those sections of the communities it’s not as one may have the psychological impact in terms of warfare against an opponent once this happens is very difficult to cope with.”
He also revealed that targeted killing is another means, which is mostly based on political ideologies, colonial identity or religious persuasion stressing that people who are known to have vary opinion were randomly killed, is another hallmark which has taken place. He also cited the area of humanitarian access as another worrying trend hindering the decades long unrest positing that many people were bombarded in abandon places.
“Mostly people in remote, caves and abandoned areas are been denied their basic rights to humanitarian relief, which is a crime itself against humanity. When you see all that you must wonder what is happening,” he added.
In a similar vein, Zainab Mohamed, an expert at Vision, a human rights advocacy group also narrated similar gross violations committed and continuously perpetrated against innocent civilians. She called on the international community and AU to intervene to put an end to these human rights violations, which is mostly perpetrated against women and children.
Other speakers at the interactive panel discussion include, Osaman Hummaida, from the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies and Hannah Forster, the executive director of African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), who also chaired the ceremony.
Author: Sheriff Janko