Washington decries renewed bombings

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SUDAN: Washington decries renewed bombings

NAIROBI, 11 June (IRIN) - The US government on Friday expressed its concern that the Government of Sudan has recently launched a series of aerial strikes against civilian targets in the south of the country, breaking Khartoum's 25 May pledge to end the bombings of civilian targets in southern Sudan and the Nubah Mountains. State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher cited reports that government bombs had killed four Sudanese civilians on Wednesday last, 6 June, in a bombing in Bahr al-Ghazal [in Barurud, in the northwest of the state] which took place while WFP was making a food drop in the area.

Two other towns in Bahr al-Ghazal, Marial Bai and Mapel, were also bombed late last week, he said. "Mapel's airport is critical to addressing the humanitarian crisis in the region because it is used as a staging area by Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), the primary international relief mechanism," Boucher added. Humanitarian agencies have been involved in contact with the authorities in Khartoum after the WFP scare in Barurud, and another worrying security incident in Nasir on the same day, according to informed sources.

Relief personnel reportedly expressed concern that additional security concerns in an already disquieting operating environment had the potential to put the whole humanitarian operation in jeopardy. There has also been some anxiety that sustained fighting in western Bahr al-Ghazal could impinge upon badly-needed emergency food and non-food operations to mitigate the continuing effects of drought and conflict on vulnerable populations.

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Norwegian Refugee Council - updated profiles on the IDP situations in Angola, Guinea and Sudan now available, May 2001

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