Indiscriminate Bombing Kills UN Peacekeeper in Sudan

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 17, 2013

The United States strongly condemns the shelling of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) interim headquarters today in Kadugli, Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state reportedly by elements of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), which killed one United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) peacekeeper from Ethiopia and wounded two others.

We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the UNISFA peacekeeper, and also to the Government of Ethiopia, which has lost three UNISFA peacekeepers already this year. We also wish a speedy recovery to the other two peacekeepers wounded in the attack.

We call on all parties to stop conducting military activities in areas occupied by non-combatants, such as Kadugli, and we stress that attacks on UN peacekeepers may constitute war crimes. The use of indirect fire against civilian targets by the SPLM-N and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), along with indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian areas by the SAF, violate international law, and have resulted in civilian deaths and widespread displacement.

This tragic event underscores the need to immediately restart the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP)-facilitated direct talks between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N to allow for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access and the cessation of hostilities in the Two Areas. These talks are an important first step toward resolving the conflict between the SPLM-N and the Government of Sudan, and are intricately linked to the resolution of a number of remaining issues.

PRN: 2013/0751