SUDAN WATCH: BBC evidence of Sudanese government's recent bombing of Joghana, South Darfur

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

BBC evidence of Sudanese government's recent bombing of Joghana, South Darfur

The BBC has evidence of a recent attack by Sudanese government forces on Jogana [Joghana], a remote village (12 miles East of Kano) in southern Darfur, western Sudan.

As noted here at Sudan Watch yesterday [see Darfuris flee bombing of Joghana village by Sudan gov't aircraft and attacks by Janjaweed fighting SLA] BBC correspondent Orla Guerin in Darfur witnessed many people fleeing and could hear the sound of bombing from 40km (25 miles) away. The number of casualties is unknown. Click here to view video of Orla Guerin's report aired here in England on BBC1 TV 10pm Monday April 24, 2006.

Note, Orla Guerin says the attack took place at 7am (presumably on the day it was aired by the BBC) and African Union soldiers in the area drove away before dark, implying they did not care to protect the frightened villagers. Pity she did not explain that due to a curfew imposed by Sudanese authorities, AU soldiers are not permitted to travel after dark.

Why hasn't the media picked up on this story, particularly the bombing and curfew? Last year, when faced with the threat of a no-fly zone, the Sudanese government promised not to use aircraft for bombing raids on Darfur villages and civilians. But so far, it appears only Garowe Online, Somalia has publicised the BBC report.

On the issue of sanctions imposed yesterday by the UN Security Council, the BBC's correspondent at the UN headquarters in New York, Laura Trevelyan, said the sanctions could be difficult to enforce. BBC's Jonah Fisher in Khartoum, says the effect of the sanctions will be more psychological than physical.

One wonders why sanctions were imposed now, at such a crucial stage in the peace talks, on the same day a draft peace agreement was presented by the AU to the warring parties. Pity there is so little investigative reporting. If the Sudanese government feels misjudged, they ought to open up to responsible broadcasters like the BBC and provide timely, factual interviews and press releases. We don't know half of what really goes on. Greedy, ruthless, ambitious, self serving men using defenceless women and children as pawns in a power game are getting away with murder and there is not much we can do about it except watch it happening in real time, like ghouls.

[Thanks to Eric at TPoTP for pointing out the link to a video of Orla Guerin's report]


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