|The anti-genocide group, Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), has published visual evidence of mass graves in South Kordofan where Sudanese government forces are targeting the Nuba population.|
The Sudanese military and allied forces have carried out systematic attacks on Nuba civilians in South Kordofan that could amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, according to a UN report obtained on Friday by AFP.
Many of the UN report’s findings point to the deliberate targeting of civilians because of their political and/or ethnic affiliations.
The Nuba are mostly a Christian minority that has been fighting alongside the South Sudanese for independence from Khartoum.
Fighting resumed in South Kordofan on July 6, just days before South Sudan declared its independence, after a half century of struggle against Sudan's Arab government.
The ranks of the SPLA (Sudanese People's Liberation Army) in South Kordofan are largely filled with Nuba, and many Nuba support the SPLA’s political wing, the SPLM (Sudanese People's Liberation Movement).
The UN report, the most detailed of its kind to date, documents specific instances where the army allegedly attacked civilians and churches, carried out summary executions, torture and intimidation, and bombed civilian targets in a campaign that it says will "dissipate the Nuba population" if not stopped.
Tens of thousands of Nuba civilians have fled to caves to escape government air strikes, The Independent reports.
"They sent Antonovs [bombers] during the day while the fighting was going on. They just threw bombs everywhere, hitting everything, everyone," a survivor told the paper.
An independent and comprehensive investigation into the violations in South Kordofan that brings to account those most responsible is one the report’s key recommendations.
“The International Community cannot afford to remain silent in the face of such deliberate attacks by the Government of Sudan against its own people,” the report said.
“Although both parties to the conflict have engaged in acts against civilians throughout the course of the recent conflict in Southern Kordofan, … it is the conduct of the SAF [that] has been especially egregious.”
“Instead of distinguishing between civilians and combatants and accordingly directly their military operations only against military targets, the SAF and allied paramilitary forces have targeted members and supporters of the SPLM/A, most of whom are Nubans and other dark skinned people.|
"The consequences of (the ongoing aerial) bombardments on the Nuban people and in particular civilians, including women and children, are devastating. They have resulted in significant loss of life, destruction of properties, and massive displacement," it warns.
"[The UN] has received photographs of mangled and mutilated bodies of civilians, some cut into halves, including women and children."
The report notes it is not exhaustive, and that the true scale and extent of violence is only beginning to surface.
In one alarming account in the report, an UN staff member attests to seeing over 150 dead Nuba scattered on the grounds of the military compound where he was being detained by the Sudanese army.
After briefing the UN Security Council on Friday, Valerie Amos, the UN undersecretary-general humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said in a statement:
"I am increasingly alarmed by the mounting allegations of mass graves in South Kordofan, and of reported disappearances of civilians, targeting of people on an ethnic basis, and extra-judicial killings."