September 22, 2013 (SSNA) — This week I published the fifth update to my original May 6, 2011 report and data spreadsheet (www.SudanBombing.org) chronicling military attacks on civilians and humanitarians in Sudan. Collectively, the reports and data attempt to render as completely as possible all confirmed aerial attacks on civilians and humanitarians working in what is now Sudan and South Sudan. To date the figure is more than 2,000, although this figure almost certainly represents but a small fraction of the total number of attacks that have occurred over two decades. The attacks recorded here are all the responsibility of the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime in Khartoum, which this year marked its 24th year in power following the June 30, 1989 military coup.
The current update focuses on Darfur, with a subsequent update to focus on South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and the North/South border areas. The data spreadsheet of June 2012 will be updated on completion of this second narrative update.
The current update comprises eight sections:
By far the longest is section VII, which comprises a very large number of bombing attacks reported by Darfuri eyewitnesses. The vast majority come from Radio Dabanga; the absence of any meaningful reporting by the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is all too conspicuous, as the mission slide closer to complete failure. There are some international wire reports, but without the accounts from Radio Dabanga, the world would know virtually nothing about the catastrophic violence and insecurity that prevails throughout Darfur.
The grim truth, however, is that even knowing what is occurring in Darfur, the international community is obsessed with geostrategic interests in the Middle East, preeminently Syria. The painfully invidious comparison implicit in Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim about the unique horror of chemical weapons is all the more painful because it is politically expedient (see my discussion of this issue at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-reeves/on-invoking-the-deaths-of_b_3968044.html).
The original update, data spreadsheet, and September 2013 update may all be found at: www.SudanBombing.org.
Caution: A series of graphic photographs of the consequences of these savage aerial attacks on civilians can be found at http://www.sudanreeves.org/?p=4284. These photographs are extraordinarily difficult to view; one’s reaction is inevitably and viscerally painful. They should not be viewed casually.
Eric Reeves is a professor at Smith College and has written extensively on Sudan.