August 14th 2000
Dear Mr Prodi,
I am very concerned about the situation of the people of Southern Sudan. Please, Mr. Prodi, do everything in your power to stop the bombardment of civilian targets by the government of Sudan!
August 6th 2000: Tonj, Bahr El Ghazal, Southern Sudan: The sudanese airforce drops 12 bombs on this place – the bombs landing near the Catholic mission, close to the school and the market place. Soon after, the bombers decended on the nearby town of Mapel, where they dropped a total of 18 bombs. Mapel is the base for humanitarian activities in the Bahr El-Ghazal region, aid agencies working in Mapel include Lutheran World Federation, Save the Children Fund, International Rescue Committe and MFS-Belgium, as well as local NGOs. There is also a school for about 1.000 pupils in Mapel. These two attacks resulted in the dead of at least seven people, injuring more than 100.
August 9th, Mapel is bombend again, 16 bombs fall on the place, WFP facilities were targeted, the organization announced to evacuate its aid workers from the area. These incidents follow just days after the government of Sudan has repeatedly assured aid agencies that relief workers would not be targeted. Alone in July more than 250 bombs hit civilian targets in at least 33 seperate incidents that claimed several lives and caused massive destruction to property. It is not new that the sudanese government bombs schools, villages, towns and hospitals, thereby creating new waves of refugees and starvation. It is a new phenomenon that Khartoum bombs airplanes and clinics of the International Committee of the Red Cross, WFP and OLS facilities. The Red Cross clinic in Chelou was attacked with 14 bombs on July 15th, it has been destroyed and one female patient was seriously wounded. Because of the high risk to their employees the Red Cross decided to close this clinic.
Because of the bombing of Mapel the UN has suspended relief flights to southern Sudan.
How can the European Union possibly negotiate with the representatives of a regime which deliberately and systematically bombs civilian targets and now attempts to make the vital work of humanitarian organizations and the OLS impossible? Please Mr. Prodi express your resentment at these latest bombings by interrupting the negotiations with the Sudanese Government.