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WNN Breaking

Sudanese refugees on way to Ethiopia 2011

In 2011 a Sudanese family made up of a father, a child and other women from the Blue Nile region of Sudan crossed into western Ethiopia through the Kurmuk border crossing as they became refugees without a home or a country. Since 2011 conditions have become partially better then worse again as unrest in the region continues in 2013. Image: P. Rulashe/UNHCR

(WNN) Khartoum, SUDAN, NORTHERN AFRICA: A radio network reporting on conditions inside Sudan has just released news that 3 women have been killed and 3 other women injured in aerial bombs dropped in the mountainous East Jebel Marra region in East Darfur from Sunday June 23 to Monday June 24, 2013.

Witnesses were contacted by Netherlands based Sudan reporting Radio Dabanga, known also known as Radio Darfur Network, through a network of Sudanese journalists, who sent reports to the radio station that at 6pm on Sunday, a Sudanese Air Force Antonov military plane made passes over the Rovata area, 35 kilometres west of Vananga , from various directions and dropped several bombs in a raid that was described by local witnesses as “very violent.”

Using what was described as an Antonov aircraft, used as an military transport plane inside Sudan but has also been used as an improvised bomber, is an airplane that has been known to be part of the Sudanese government’s air artillery. Arms experts have outlined the history of the Antonov planes to have started from production that began in Russia in the 1950s, as a Chinese manufacturing version of the plane began later as numerous advocates, as well as the press, have outlined. China’s involvement with the manufacturing of planes and other military supplies that have ended up Sudan has been part of discussions among human rights advocates and at the United Nations, as Chinese representatives at the UN have strongly denied any government connection. Involvement of Iran delivering arms supplies to Sudan has also been tracked by arms experts and human rights advocates.

Civil war on the ground in regions extending from south to the northern region outside the capital of Khartoum has brought armed militias against Sudan’s government forces. The fighting has included some insurgent infiltration in the rebel army which brings a complex political challenge to the region. The conflict from both sides continues to put civilian lives, especially women and children, in between war and violence as innocent people are injured, killed, or trapped in the crossroads.

Against April 2013 UN agreements to ease the violence and tension in the region, the Sudanese government military has sanctioned efforts using aerial bombs to rid the region of one of the rebel forces called Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). In the meantime 27 women in the local region in Eastern Darfur have died over the past year due to the conflict, said a spokesman for civilians during a Monday dispatch release from radio station Radio Dabanga.

Those who died in the Sunday bombing raid include an older woman, a teenage girl and a young woman as 75-year-old Maryam Ismail Abakar, 17-year-old Yasmine Yahiya Yusuf and 22-year-old Dar Naim Haroun Saleh were killed from injuries they suffered after bombs were dropped in the area. The same day the bombing is said to have also killed dozens of local livestock in addition to a local water supply installation.

The following day, on Monday June 24, witnesses in the region reported that aerial raids were heavier than the day before (Sunday) as three water supply wells were destroyed due to bombardment from the air. During the same raid bombs were also dropped on the local well called Bir Abu Yassin, as father and sons Yahiya Yaqoub Adam, Adam Yahiya Yaqoub, and Suleiman Yahyia Yaqoub were injured. The blasts also destroyed a water pump head and its generator as government efforts to move people out of the area by destroying water sources continued.

Only a few months after South Sudan seceded from the northern Sudan region, that includes Darfur and the Blue Nile State on July 9, 2011, almost 300,000 displaced people have poured across border regions from the north to the south. Nearly 115,000 people have found refuge in one of the four camps established in South Sudan’s Maban region, says UN OCHA – United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

“Not all of those affected by the conflict have reached South Sudan. To the east of Blue Nile, the refugee camps in Assosa, Ethiopia, have seen a significant surge in refugees since the end of 2011, with some 32,000 people crossing that border,” says OCHA.

Those who cannot get away from the fighting are those who are suffering the most in the Blue Nile region, say advocates. These are often families who have elder members who are unable to travel.

“Within Blue Nile State, international humanitarian organizations have only had limited access to communities affected by the conflict,” continued OCHA.

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