top of page

Will the NIF/NCP regime in Khartoum be held accountable for genocide, massive crimes against humanit

As the regime in Khartoum is brought ever further into the international fold, its savage assaults on people of Sudan’s marginalized regions must not be forgotten. In particular, I believe, we are obliged to recall that the deliberate bombing of civilians and humanitarians—including hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, foodstocks—extend back to the earliest days of National Islamic Front/National Congress Party rule. Many of the very same men who engineered the June 1989 military coup are still in power, including President Omar al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court on multiple counts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

For more than twenty years the regime has used aerial attacks on civilians and humanitarians as a central weapon of war. The evidence is overwhelming, and is gathered here (see below) in systematic fashion, with as much comprehensiveness as records permit. A final data spreadsheet includes more than 2,000 confirmed incidents of deliberate attacks on civilians and humanitarians, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, American Refugee Council, Norwegian People’s Aid, and many others. South Sudan, Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue, Nile, eastern Sudan, and extra-territorial bombings are all included, along with a lengthy framing essay and a bibliography of sources extending to many dozens of pages. The data spreadsheet includes dates, locations, sources, number of bombs (or other munitions) dropped, and casualties and damage.

Many links to sources have gone “dead”; many of those who served as sources are now deceased or unavailable; some data/records have become unavailable for other reasons. This report, I believe, is likely to be the definitive account of the Khartoum regime’s serial war crimes of aerial assaults on civilians and humanitarians.

"'They Bombed Everything that Moved': Aerial military attacks on civilians and humanitarians in Sudan, 1999 – 2011"

(May 2011; updated October 2011, 2012, September 2013)

The primary weapon in Khartoum's aerial war on civilians has been the Russian-built Antonov cargo plane, retrofitted to become a crude, inaccurate, but terrifying weapons of civilian terror and destruction. Shrapnel-loaded barrel bombs are simply rolled out the cargo bay from high altitudes without sighting mechanisms. The have no useful military accuracy.

Shrapnel from the bombs dropped by Antonovs goes in all directions and can easily to cut a human body in half.

Limbs and lives are constantly being lost to these bombing attacks; many wounds, if untreated, are fatal

The attacks are indiscriminate in killing both young and old: above a woman from Malual Kon, Bahr el-Ghazal (South Sudan, 2002) and a girl from the Nuba Mountains (South Kordofan, 2012)

Villages have frequently been destroyed by aerial attacks

Khartoum has also used banned weapons in its aerial attacks, including cluster bombs (see above) and bombs containing chemical weapons (the infant in the photo above is dying from a chemical weapons attack in Jebel Marra, Central Darfur, 2016). The Jebel Marra campaign in Darfur (2016) was not the first time that chemical weapons use has been authoritatively established, as it was on this occasion by Amnesty International. A compelling report was issued by MSF/Switzerland (2000), chronicling the use of these horrifying weapons in Equatoria, South Sudan

Given the lack of international pressure on Khartoum and the increasing European and U.S. rapprochement with the regime, the Antonovs may soon be flying again over South Kordofan and Blue Nile, areas not fully under Khartoum's military control

Khartoum has also deployed advanced Russian-built military aircraft against civilians and humanitarians, including the MiG-29 and the Sukhoi-24/25. The latter aircraft was used to attack the MSF hospital in Frandala, South Kordofan (January 2015)


(c) 2017 SUDAN Research, Analysis, and Advocacy

Follow Genocide Watch for more updates:

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
bottom of page