Home | News    Thursday 28 July 2011

Sudan admits to moving corpses via trucks in S. Kordofan

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July 27, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government on Wednesday acknowledged that authorities in South Kordofan collected dead bodies on trucks for burial during the course of fighting in the oil-rich state.

In this Digital Globe satellite image made available by the US monitoring group the Satellite Sentinel Project Thursday July 14 2011 and analyzed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, a dug-up site near Kadugli town in a sealed-off region of Sudan appears to be a mass grave, offering the first aerial photographs from a conflict zone that outside observers can’t access (AP)

The foreign ministry spokesperson Al- Obaid Marawih said that the scattered corpses were rained on prompting the local government to transport them and bury them later for fear of an epidemics outbreak.

He added that the governor of South Kordofan Ahmed Haroun instructed the Red Crescent aid group to bury the bodies after verifying their identities though he noted that some were in a decomposed state requiring special handling.

Marawih said that the process has been documented and pictures were taken. However, the Sudanese official provided no figures or dates to when this occurred. He also did not say whether those killed were civilians or military personnel.

This month, Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) released what it claimed to be satellite imagery supporting eyewitness accounts of mass graves being dug in South Kordofan capital town of Kadugli.

Citing eyewitnesses, SSP said dead bodies had been picked up from the market area of Kadugli, and from the nearby villages El Gardud and Tilo, and dumped in open pits less than a kilometer (mile) south of the Tilo Secondary School.

"[An] eyewitness said... he estimated that 100 or more bodies were deposited at the site on the evening of June 8," the monitoring group said.

But Marawih denied the allegations about the existence of mass graves as posed by SSP though he did not disclose if the bodies he referred to were buried individually or collectively.

"The talk about mass graves is misleading and a misrepresentation of facts. The truth is that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) is the one that started the military action and... it has chosen the civilians as victims for the battle," he said.

"Any talk about the abuse or violation of the law by the government of South Kordofan remains a claim with no support and will not be taken into account" Marawih added.

He also chided U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice who said last week that the reports coming out of the state include “acts of extreme cruelty” against civilians.

"The U.S. ambassador to the UN Security Council and other pressure groups want to initiate hostile acts against Sudan and they are working to issue decisions against the government to force it to change its position and accept UN forces in South Kordofan," Marawih said.

Princeton Lyman, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan, said last week that although mass graves might exist, it was impossible to verify because of a lack of access to the region.

“We can’t confirm the conclusion in the Sentinel project that there are mass graves in Kadugli,” Lyman said, citing U.S. intelligence reports.

But today’s statements by Khartoum will likely boost allegations made by SSP.

Ivan Simonovic, the United Nations assistant secretary general for human rights, said in an interview that the peacekeeping mission in Sudan had not been able to verify the existence of mass graves but that the allegations it had received were from witnesses and not satellite pictures.
“We can say they are serious allegations and do require further investigation,” Simonovic said.

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled since clashes flared in early June between Sudan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and SPLA fighters, many of them from South Kordofan’s ethnic Nuba group.

Sudan has accused the SPLA of launching a rebellion inside South Kordofan to try and control the region, and team up with rebels in other areas to challenge the national government in a manner similar to Libya.

The state, which borders Darfur and the new country of South Sudan, is home to large groups who fought alongside the south during the second civil war and are now seeking greater autonomy inside what remains of Sudan.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir reneged on an agreement signed by one of his key aides in Ethiopia last month that was brokered by the African Union. He instructed that military operations continue to crush the SPLA and arrest its leader Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu who was deputy governor of the state.

Al-Hilu lost in gubernatorial elections held last May to incumbent governor Ahmed Haroun who was running on National Congress Party (NCP) ticket. He accused Khartoum of rigging the vote and vowed not to recognize the results.

Haroun and Bashir are both wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes they allegedly masterminded in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

In recent days Sudanese officials softened their stance and offered dialogue with al-Hilu which observers attributed to a military stalemate in the fighting despite utilizing air force to bomb rebel positions.

(ST)

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  • 28 July 2011 07:13, by Aleu

    There is no doubt about ethnic cleansing in Southern Kordofan region. Omar al Bashir had been successful getting ride on Black African tribes in the Sudan. The question is, why the International community don’t take action.?

    The Nubian people need to leave Northern Sudan and join together with South Sudan since the name of South Sudan will combining all others Sudanese such as the Southern Kordofan, South Blue Nile,South Darfur and South Sudan then, they should just tell North Sudan dominate without fear because they have all rights to choose between two governments and two countries.

  • 28 July 2011 07:14, by MINDED.DUDE

    yesterday, Haroun was denying everything./
    And now accepting the truth,
    where are black arabs like Mahamed Ali,jalabia,sam eto,and khartoum92?
    Tell us ,what is going on in south kordofan?

    • 28 July 2011 13:34, by Maasai

      Nubaian in Southern kordonfan has to united to face common enemy. The should not divided themselves, there are some of Nubaian who were total changed by Arab, they ’ve to make sure that the gonna get something gud from them rather being there salves.

  • 28 July 2011 07:33, by Lorolokin

    I don’t know exactly when will the International community act. people are and dying yet they are watching.

    We Southerners have left but we are worried that they (Nation Crime Party (NCP) will eliminate our brothers and Sisters from the rest of the marginalized parts of Sudan.

    I thinks it is high time for the Nubas,Blue nile, Angassanas as well as S.Kordufan to wake up and take arms against Khartoum.
    USA, France, UN and Britain wake up and take a bold decision against Khartoum.

    Kinkak

    • 28 July 2011 08:52, by Michael Angelo

      Mr. Lyman,

      What evidences are you still want to prove that genocide has been committed in South Kordofan? Satellite can’t lie and also there are pictures that can prove happen is true. Anyhow, the government has finally admitted what the satellite was revealed earlier. Now, it’s up to International community whether to take actions against Sudan government or will keep abundant Nubian people and side with Bashir’s government.

      • 28 July 2011 12:45, by Marco A. Wek

        Mass killing of civilians is what north Sudan government lived on while their inhuman supporters as such Mohammed Ali, Sam Eto, Jalaby and the one who claims himself to be a southerner Supporter of Naath/North views these massing killings as allegations or even think these are people not worth living and should go.

        What a evil people God brought to Africa to finish the natives? If God punishes wrong doers, those morons should burn in hell forever.

        • 28 July 2011 17:17, by Dumodit

          Dear Marco
          You are right to commended those words on Sudan government of President Omar Bashir.
          NCP became a dominated party against citizenship rights on the people of Sudan.
          Omar is always likes to order mass-killing on his own people. His minister of depend has been chosen to fight against Sudanese civilians and those who claim the citizenship right by army reaction or struggle.

          We shall not have right to pass curse against him for wrong doers being exercising by NCP. God is the only one who can deal with him whether for punishment or blessing upon him.
          Hell is for God’s judgmental decision not human beings.

          Bashir was suppose to be arrested already to face charges of crimes against him in ICC but the international community are afraid of him even. Let him do what he wants, our regret will never deliver the solution of Darfur and S. Kordufan conflicts with Sudan government.



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