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EU condemns air attacks on South Kordofan civilians

May 11, 2014 (KHARTOUM° - The European Union on Sunday joined international concerns over the bombing of civilians near a hospital located in South Kordofan rebel controlled areas .

“The Delegation of the European Union to Sudan noted with concern the reports of aerial bombardments on 1 and 2 May 2014 of the Mother of Mercy medical facility in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan," said a press release issued on Sunday.

In a joint statement on 8 May, the American and Canadian embassies in Khartoum said "appealed by this attack on those providing essential medical care or humanitarian assistance to people in need”.

The air attacks on Gidel village were filmed in video posted by Nuba Reports, an independent news site, however the Sudanese army denied it.

European Union delegation and embassy of Norway which associated itself with the statement, underscored that “failing to make the distinction between military objectives and the civilian population and objects represents an indiscriminate attack and is a war crime”.

They further called on the government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement –North (SPLM-N) to allow humanitarian access to the affected civilians, and to swiftly reach a peace deal to end the nearly three –year conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

The two warring parties are expected to resume talks soon but the date is not yet known. During their last round of talks in April, the government accepted a draft framework agreement proposed by the mediation aiming to limit the process on the two areas.

On Saturday, Sudanese presidential adviser and head of the government negotiating delegation, Ibrahim Ghandour, reiterated Khartoum rejection to include Darfur rebel groups in the stalled process, stressing that the African mediation is only mandated with the conflict of the Two Areas.

Ghandour further said they are keen to reach a permanent ceasefire and rejected a rebel proposal for a humanitarian cessation of hostilities.

The SPLM-N which proposes the cessation of hostilities as conducive measure, says a permanent ceasefire in the Two Areas and Darfur can be negotiated with the unified delegation of the rebel groups in southern and western Sudan.

The governor of South Kordofan state, Adam Al-Faki said on Sunday that the army will keep fighting the SPLM-N during the negotiations to free civilians “held” by the rebels, adding that the government has “the constitutional responsibility" to protect citizens.

(ST)