Editor's Note: This op-ed originally appeared on Al Jazeera English. Documentary filmmakers Matthew LeRiche, PhD, and Viktor Pesenti recently investigated the situation in Sudan's conflict-torn Blue Nile state, and the flow of refugees into South Sudan. Dr LeRiche is an academic, a writer/producer, and a risk management professional.
In the past year, my colleague Viktor Pesenti and I spent time with people being bombarded by their own government in Sudan's conflict-torn Blue Nile state, near the border with South Sudan.
So captivated by the people and the place, we returned in February 2013. Compelled to show the devastation and suffering wrought upon the people there, we produced a short documentary film for the Enough Project.
Bombing in Sudan's Blue Nile State shows some of the most vivid images to date – including women and children hiding in hand-dug trenches – of how civilians are suffering from Khartoum's ongoing indiscriminate bombardment. Further, our video documents the scorched-earth campaign that the government began in 2013. For example, the village of Mufu is shown razed to the ground.
During the past few days, the government of Sudan has been threatening to shut off the flow of oil from South Sudan.
The oil is piped via Sudan to port for export. Along with this threat, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has again declared a holy war against those opposing the regime and stated the government of South Sudan was to blame for opposition forces of the Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) making significant gains in recent months.
This bluster, designed to manipulate international understanding, is a distraction from the story of the suffering of the civilian population in Sudan, and a veil over the real reasons behind the current devastating violence.
Photo: Newly arrived reguees on South Sudan/Sudan border (AP).