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Sudan: Leaked UN report condemns torture and executions of civilians in Nuba War

last updated Jul 19, 2011

A leaked confidential report by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) describes the full extent of human rights violations during the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Kordofan, bordering the now independent Republic of South Sudan. According to the report, both parties committed acts that may amount to crimes against humanity but the SAF is accused of particularly cruel crimes targeting SPLA members, most of whom belong to the black African Nuba people of Sudan.

Rwandan UNMIS troops in Sudan, July 2005
Rwandan UNMIS troops in Sudan, July 2005; Source: http://www.dod.gov/home/photoessays/2005-07/p20050722a2.html

The violations committed during the conflict which broke out on 5 June include aerial bombardements, torture, deliberate targeting of dark-skinned people, forced displacements, arbitrary arrests and summary executions. The violent campaign by the SAF is believed to be part of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s plan to suppress ethnic and cultural diversity in favour of an Arabic-Islamic regime.

The report also emphasises the active obstruction of the work of the UNMIS by state authorities. Due to these obstructions the UNMIS was unable to fulfil the most basic requirements of its mandate. UNMIS officials are quoted to have said that they have been “deaf and blind” ever since the conflict broke out. According to UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, 1.4 million people were affected by the war.

Recommendations in the UN report urge the Security Council to launch a thorough investigation into the committed human rights violations and to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Guardian: UN mission accuses Sudan of shelling and torturing civilians in Nuba war

Sudan Tribune: UN report incriminates Sudan army’s acts in South Kordofan, calls for ICC probe

Sudan country profile