Amnesty International Decries Continued Bombing and Restrictions on Humanitarian Aid While Civilians Suffer in Sudan

Press Release
March 16, 2012

Amnesty International Decries Continued Bombing and Restrictions on Humanitarian Aid While Civilians Suffer in Sudan

Human rights organization joins Washington, DC, demonstration spearheaded by Congressman McGovern, George Clooney and others in front of Sudanese embassy

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579

(Washington DC) -- Today, Amnesty International joined Congressman Jim McGovern, actor George Clooney, and partner NGOs in front of the Embassy of Sudan in Washington, DC, to call for an immediate end to atrocities being perpetrated by the Sudanese government.

The Sudanese Armed Forces' are targeting civilian areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and the Nuba mountains with aerial bombardment. The indiscriminate bombing, coupled with the denial of access to relief aid, has created a human rights and humanitarian emergency that has left nearly half a million Sudanese civilians on the brink of famine.

"The tactics employed by the Sudanese forces in these areas are tragically reminiscent of the crimes committed in Darfur," said Scott Edwards of Amnesty International USA. "Civilians must at all times be protected, and the government's failure to end indiscriminate bombing—or worse, its intentional targeting and murder of civilians—requires swift and meaningful action by the international community."

In February, the United Nations Security Council broke months of silence on the situation by calling for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to the affected areas.

According to Edwards, however, "Thousands upon thousands have been brought to the brink of unimaginable suffering by the Sudanese government's refusal to allow access to much-needed humanitarian aid."   

In a recent report, Amnesty International documented how the flow of arms from Russia, China, and Belarus fuel serious human rights violations in these and other areas of Sudan, including in the Darfur region, where violence continues.

"The relentless and indiscriminate attacks have been further fueled by weapons from countries such as Russia and China, and as such, they bear particular responsibility for ensuring effective Security Council action to stop the attacks and aid civilians at risk," said Edwards.

Amnesty International is urging the Security Council to act on the recommendations made by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding South Kordofan, including: demanding the Government of Sudan grant access to human rights monitors; mandating an independent inquiry into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law; and expanding the current arms embargo to include the whole of Sudan--not just Darfur.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

For more information visit www.amnestyusa.org, Twitter: @amnesty, Facebook: Amnesty International USA

###