The Sudan government continues to target children in the ongoing conflict in the Nuba Mountains.
On Wednesday afternoon, a government warplane bombed a leading primary school in Kauda, Sudan, wounding a Kenyan teacher. The Sudan Sukhoi jet dropped two parachute bombs into the compound of the St. Vincent Primary School at the Diocese of El Obeid, damaging classrooms and library.
“I don’t feel safe, it’s inhuman,” said a shocked sister Cinta Mutisya, a principal at the school from Kenya. Sponsored by Catholic churches in the US, several international staff from East Africa and Australia work at the school.
The governments of Norway, the UK, and the US condemned the bombing and other attacks on civilians.
“The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) are appalled by the Sudanese government’s aerial bombardment of civilians in Kauda and the Heiban area of South Kordofan, including the bombing of St Vincent Elementary School on 25 May,” the statement read. “The Sudanese government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens. We urge all parties to end the violence and allow immediate humanitarian access to those in need.”
Wednesday’s attack is not the first time the school grounds were bombed — in May last year jets hit the same school.
“We just thank God that the children were not in the primary school because these metal pieces would have probably killed them,” Australian Education Coordinator Cathy Solano said. Only teachers were present since it was a correction day for exams.
Over the past month, Sudan has significantly increased aerial attacks on civilians in the rebel-controlled Heiban County, South Kordofan state –where Kauda is located. According to Nuba Reports, Sudan has dropped 68 bombs in Heiban County over the past month.
On May 1, one bomb killed six children, aged 4-13, and wounded another civilian, sparking a national outcry protesting the incident. During the memorial service of the six children on May 23, another Sudanese jet dropped two bombs in the same area, wounding four more children and killing a 6-month old baby.
Civilians, especially children, are routinely targeted in Sudan’s five-year civil war with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North rebels in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, killing thousands and displacing nearly 400,000 people.
“Despite all the challenges, despite the hunger, despite the drought, despite the war, despite so many problems of poverty and yet they want to go to school,” Solana added. “They don’t deserve this, what have they done wrong? They have done nothing wrong.”