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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2002 > February
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 12, 2002


Aerial Attacks in Southern Sudan

The United States is outraged by the Government of Sudanís aerial strike against a civilian target in the south of the country. They have broken Khartoum's pledge to the U.S. Special Envoy for Peace in Sudan, Senator John Danforth, to end bombings of civilian targets for a period of four weeks.

On Sunday, February 10, six government bombs killed two Sudanese children in Akuem, Bahr al-Ghazal State. The Sudanese air force dropped the bombs on a World Food Program emergency drop site only three hours after an airdrop of food commodities. Civilians were still on the ground collecting food at the time of the attack. The World Food Program aircraft had received flight clearance from the Sudanese government and had originated from a government airfield. This horrific and senseless attack indicates that the pattern of deliberately targeting civilians and humanitarian operations continues.

This attack comes at a time when the United States is working with the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement and the Sudanese government on ways to end attacks on civilians -- a crucial unresolved issue in the Danforth initiative and an important building block in efforts to end the Sudan conflict. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to reach an agreement with the government. The Akuem attack underlines the importance of resolving this issue as soon as possible and of setting up a viable verification mechanism to prevent this type of tragedy from being repeated in the future.

 


Released on February 12, 2002

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