Sudan's Nuba refugees protest UN 'inaction'
Publisher: AFP, Agence France Presse
Story date: 17/11/2011
Language: English

YIDA, South Sudan, Nov 17, 2011 (AFP) – Hundreds of refugees displaced by
fighting in Sudan demonstrated on Thursday at the lack of UN protection and
humanitarian assistance at a camp in South Sudan that was bombed last week.

The large crowd chanted slogans like: "Wake up Ban Ki-moon, we are human
just like you!" and called on the United Nations to enforce a no-fly zone to
stop the Sudanese army from bombing them in war-torn South Kordofan and over
the border in the newly independent south.

"They are calling for the international community ... to pay attention to
what happened to Nuba people and innocent people who are just killed by
(Sudanese President) Omar al-Bashir's regime without any discrimination," said
Mustafa Jamus, the deputy chairman of the camp.

Four bombs fell on Yida on November 10, according to camp residents, who
number up to 25,000 people. They are fugitives from the conflict in South
Kordofan that first erupted in June between southern-aligned Nuba rebels and
the Sudanese Armed Forces.

No one was killed in the air strikes, and the army has denied widespread
accusations that it was responsible.

"These people are demonstrating to show to the world that the bombardment
was targeting innocent civilians, not military garrisons," Jamus said, as the
crowd chanted "Liar, liar, Daffa-Allah Elhag!" in response to claims by Sudans
UN ambassador that the refugee camp was only housing rebels.

The protesters also demanded that Bashir be tried by the International
Criminal Court for war crimes, and appealed for humanitarian assistance.

Bashir is the first sitting president indicted by the ICC, which issued an
arrest warrant for him on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war
crimes in Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

The United Nations and international aid agencies Medair and Care
International pulled out after the bomb attack and only a few small US
agencies remain.

Humanitarian workers at the camp say medical supplies will run out this
week if no more arrive. The added that there is widespread malnutrition and
anaemia due to a lack of food since weeks before the bombing, which coincided
with the first UN delivery of food aid.

"If there is not any food security for the people, no clean water and no
health centres it means that we will not survive alone," said Yussef Ismail
Abdelgani, a former civil engineer who fled South Kordofan's Heiban county in
July.

South Sudan seceded from the north in July after decades of civil war. Just
hours before the bombing, President Salva Kiir warned of a "pending invasion,"
claiming Sudan wanted to draw the south back into conflict and recapture its
land.
 

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