FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, firstname.lastname@example.org
BATIL REFUGEE CAMP, South Sudan — The government of Sudan continues its brutal campaign against the civilians in Blue Nile state, which has forced thousands to flee the area, as documented by a new Enough Project report.
The Enough Project, a project of the Center for American Progress that works to end genocide and crimes against humanity, documents eyewitness reports from refugees describing aerial bombardment, destruction of private property, extra-judicial killings, and the abduction, detention, and abuse of civilians, carried out by Sudan Armed Forces.
The report is based on interviews conducted by Enough in late June 2012 with more than a dozen refugees in Batil refugee camp, Upper Nile state, South Sudan. The refugees crossed the border after fleeing violence in Blue Nile state. In light of the government of Sudan’s restriction of access to Blue Nile state, these firsthand accounts provide significant and rare insight into the situation on the ground.
“The stories from the latest wave of refugees fleeing into South Sudan underscore, once more, that conflict continues to rage for many communities in Sudan, and make clear that the way the war has been fought has exacted a terrible toll on civilians,” said Amanda Hsiao, the report’s lead author and Enough Project Sudan Field Researcher. “The lack of independent access into the conflict zones means that the acts of violence which refugees report cannot be fully investigated, and that many civilians lack access to food and medical aid.”
Since September 2011, when the conflict in South Kordofan state, Sudan between SAF and the SPLM-N spread into Blue Nile, the U.N. estimates that 205,000 people have fled the conflicts to refugee camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan. An additional 700,000 people have been internally displaced or severely affected by the fighting and remain trapped with little or no access to international humanitarian aid.
“As the August 2 deadline on reaching a resolution on Sudan-South Sudan issues approaches, all available diplomatic tools must be used to push for independent humanitarian access into South Kordofan and Blue Nile,” said Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw. “The U.S. and broader international community also must support comprehensive political talks to tackle the issues of governance at the root of Sudan’s conflicts.”
“Sudanese victims of Khartoum’s violations of international law in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are unable to seek recourse against the government before domestic or international bodies, as these civilians are either in refugee camps or trapped within on-going hostilities in the two states and on the verge of starvation,” said Enough Project Policy Analyst Jenn Christian. “The rights of Sudanese citizens in Blue Nile and South Kordofan must be protected.”
To that end, the Enough Project submitted a communication before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, or ACHPR, in April 2012. Enough encourages the Commission to accept the case and begin proceedings against the government of Sudan.
Read the full report: “Sudan Field Dispatch: Refugees Provide Details of Attacks in Isolated Blue Nile State”: http://enoughproject.org/
View a slideshow of images from Batil refugee camp, Upper Nile state, South Sudan. Photos are available for media use. Please credit Amanda Hsiao/Enough Project. URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit http://enoughproject.org/.