Pattern of abuse uncovered in Sudan

June 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM

LONDON, June 11 (UPI) -- Indiscriminate bombings of civilian-populated areas in areas of Sudan are part of a familiar pattern of abuse, Amnesty International said.

AI accused the Sudanese government of war crimes and crimes against humanity for military attacks on civilian villages in Blue Nile state, near the border with South Sudan.

"Indiscriminate bombing has been the Sudanese government's signature tactic in Blue Nile state, to devastating effect," the organization said in a 43-page report published Monday.

AI said the humanitarian situation for people living in the region is "dire." Those with access to farm land are afraid to tend to their crops, while others displaced by conflict suffer from acute food shortages. Basic medical care is "non-existent," the report said.

The report said the situation doesn't improve for civilians who manage to flee across the border to South Sudan. Refugees there face coercive recruitment by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North.

AI said violence and humanitarian crises along the border between Sudan and South Sudan form a pattern of abuse in the region. An arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court in 2009 for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes committed in Darfur.

"With no accountability for past crimes, there is little deterrence for those of the present," the report said.

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