9 children were killed and 5 injured Wednesday, July 24, when a rocket propelled grenade detonated just outside the town of Cham Chaka in Sudan’s South Kordofan state.
There is no hospital or medical clinic in the vicinity of Cham Chaka. The injured children are receiving treatment from doctors of the Sudan Revolutionary Front – SRF – but the severity of their wounds is unknown.
Cham Chaka is located around 15 kilometers southeast of Abu Kershola – the site of recent heavy fighting between the SRF and Sudanese Armed Forces. Abu Kershola was captured by SRF forces in May of 2013 and has been held since. But the area is constantly subjected to artillery barrage and aerial bombardments.
On Wednesday, residents of Cham Chaka say they heard a blast around 6pm in the evening, immediately sparking fears that the Sudanese army was shelling the town. Shortly after, several residents ran towards the sound of the explosion. Residents found the injured children, who had accidentally detonated a rocket propelled grenade, or RPG. The children found the RPG lying on the outskirts of Cham Chaka, where it had landed but not exploded.
Detonation of unexploded bombs, mines, artillery and other ordinance is a common problem across many of the battle-scarred areas of South Kordofan. Since the war began in 2011, thousands of unexploded ordinance have been found, some after being accidentally detonated by children, livestock or farmers.
The children killed Wednesday ranged from 3 to 14 years old:
Dawood Ismael – age 9
Mohammod Araha – age 14
Asir Araha – age 10
Ebid Dafala – age 5
Ibriham Musa – age 4
Shafi Osman – age 11
Mohammod Ismael – age 10
Hassam Badawee – age 3
Osman Musa – age 5
Abdalla Adam – age 6
Rashid Silimon – age 10
Abdul Rhauf – age 8
Abdalla Ahmed – age 3
Musa Silimon – age 11
(The photo above shows a child in the hospital after an unexploded RPG detonated nearby on December 15, 2012)