30 May 2016, The Tablet

Government bombs Catholic primary school in Sudan

Kenyan teacher injured and classroom damaged as military campaign continues to affect civilians

The Sudanese government has bombed a Catholic school in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. A government warplane dropped two parachute bombs into the compound of St Vincent primary school, wounding a Kenyan teacher and damaging classrooms and a library on Wednesday 25 May.

 “I don’t feel safe, it’s inhuman, said Cinta Mutisya, a teacher at the school. Only teachers were present as it was a correction day for exams. Catholic churches in the US sponsor the school, which has several international staff. The school was also targeted in May 2015.

The Sudanese government has dropped 68 bombs in Heiban County in the past month, say Nuba Reports, a news site founded by residents of South Kordofan.

Six children, aged between four and 13, were killed during an aerial raid on May 1, says Nuba Reports. A further two bombs were dropped during the children’s memorial service last week, wounding a further four children and killing a six-month old baby.

The members of Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States)  issued a join statement saying they were appalled by the Sudanese government’s aerial bombardment of civilians.

“The Sudanese government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens. We urge all parties to end the violence and allow immediate humanitarian access to those in need,” they said.

The Sudanese government’s recent decision to expel the Head of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) was also condemned by the Troika countries.

“The humanitarian situation remains critical, with over 5.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid. We fully support OCHA’s mandate in Sudan and call on the government to review this latest decision, and lift restrictions on the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to all Sudanese affected by crisis and conflict,” they said.

Civilians and children are routinely targeted in Sudan’s ongoing conflict with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels in the South Kardofan and Blue Nile States in North Sudan.  

More than 200,000 people from South Kordofan and Blue Nile state have fled the fighting into South Sudan and Ethiopia, according to the UN.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates 300 Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan are crossing the border daily into South Sudan, with many heading to Yida, the largest refugee camp in South Sudan’s Unity State, already host to an estimated 61,000 Sudanese refugees.

MAIN PICTURE: View of the UN refugee camp in Yida, South Sudan. More than 130,000 Sudanese people live in such camps

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