Top stories from today’s edition of the Development and Aid Workers News Service–DAWNS Digest

Did Sudan Fly Into South Sudan To Bomb a Refugee Camp?

The were multiple reports on Thursday that the Sudanese air force violated South Sudan’s airspace and bombed a refugee camp south of the border. Sudan denies the incident, but there were several witnesses on the ground. It would appear that Sudan’s purge of undesirable ethnicities in Nuba, Blue Nile and Kordofan is now spilling across an international border. “A Reuters correspondent heard a large explosion in the Yida refugee camp, then saw a crater about two meters (6.6 feet) wide, an unexploded bomb wedged in the side of a school building and a white aircraft flying north. Witnesses said there were three further explosions at 3 p.m. (1200 GMT). Yida is a camp of about 20,000 refugees from the Nuba mountains region of South Kordofan, a state north of the border where rebels have been fighting Sudan’s army since June. Khartoum reported fresh clashes in the state Thursday. There were no immediate reports of any casualties at the camp, less than 25 km (15 miles) from the border with Sudan. A spokesman for the Enough Project, an activist group that works to end genocide, said the group confirmed there were no dead or wounded.” (Reuters Africa http://bit.ly/tsq2WU)

Zimbabwe: Fight Like Its 2008

In Zimbabwe, violence between the ruling party and the opposition MDC is on the rise.  No, it is not 2008 when now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai accused long time President Robert Mugabe of rigging and stealing the Presidential election.  However, it is starting to look like things have regressed. Tsvangirai has once again called on the international community to provide assistance. “Tsvangirai said the violence was a sign of things to come, warning that failure by the regional Southern African Development Community, which helped strike the coalition government, to intervene would worsen the situation…Previous appeals by the regional group for Mugabe to end violence have fallen on deaf ears. But this has not stopped finance minister and MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti from writing to [South African President] Zuma asking him to ratchet up political pressure on Mugabe.”  The next Presidential election is only a year away and all signs point towards the escalation in fighting between the supporters of the two political parties. (Global Post http://bit.ly/vQ01b1)

Gazing into the Crystal Ball

If confirmed that the Sudanese air force did carry out this attack, it would present a key test in the Security Council. For the better part of the year Khartoum has embarked on a violent purge of ethnic groups that had traditionally aligned with the SPLM. Until now, their activities have occurred exclusively on their side of the border (well, except for Abyei–but that’s another story.) Accordingly, China and Russia have considered this an internal issue and blocked any action at the council. The fact that this is an international incident now confounds that argument.

Get occasional updates from UN Dispatch

* indicates required

Want Our Social Media List?