Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Mission to South Sudan 2015

    May 14, 2015
    By Alex Neve, Secretary General for Amnesty International Canada Section

    SOUTHERN KORDOFAN - Time and again, as we have interviewed women, men and young people throughout Sudan’s besieged Southern 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 Southern 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.  

    May 11, 2015
    People flee fighting in Southern Kordofan FILE Photo 2011 EPA/ PAUL BANKS

    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.