Sunday, April 8, 2012

Are We Helping War crimes in Sudan? The weapons used were made closer to home than you might think

The military hardware that led to 14-year-old Daniel Omar's horrific injuries started life closer to home than you might think.

Under the glare of Sudan’s sun, a toddler points skywards at the metallic aircraft.

Shouts of ‘Antonov!’ go out and everybody runs for cover in the mountain caves. The plane banks left in front of the sun, so it’s hard to make out, but the drone of the engines grows louder.

Then come the thundering roar of explosions. I stagger out of my trench with the urge to run – to get anywhere safe. Terrified children look up at me; one has wet herself in fear.

These bombings are a daily event in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. George Clooney visited the region last month, and on his return to the U.S. got himself arrested on the steps of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington in an attempt to gain world attention to the ethnic cleansing that is going on here.

He is also helping to fund a network of private satellites to watch over the military movements of the Khartoum government, which is behind the terror attacks on its own people.

A day later I’m in the one hospital for a million civilians in the region, Mother of Mercy in Gidel.

I meet Daniel Omar, just 14, who had both arms amputated after they were torn to ribbons by fragments from an Antonov bomb blast.

‘He’s a tough kid,’ says Dr Tom Catena, the only surgeon in Nuba.

‘He never cried, not once. But this is a disaster. This is an agricultural society. If you can’t use your hands to work there’s not much you can do. The chance of him getting prosthetics is zero.

'Medically, he’ll recover and survive, but his future is bleak.’ Read More