MOSCOW, January 24 (Sputnik) – A hospital in the village of Frandala, in the South Kordofan region of Sudan was bombed by Sudanese government planes on January 20, Medicins Sans Frontiers said on Friday.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the bombing of the Frandala hospital,” said Marc Van der Mullen, MSF’s head of mission in Sudan in a statement.
“With more than 100 patients present, we were very lucky not to have more casualties, because people simply had no time to seek protection. Everyone is shocked and frightened of further attacks.”
“Today there can be no doubt that this was a deliberate and targeted bombing on a civilian hospital structure and part of a strategy to terrorize the community,” said Van der Mullen, adding that the attack follows a June 2014 bomb assault on the same medical facilities, in which one patient was killed and several injured.
“MSF calls on Khartoum again to respect the assistance we bring to the population. Despite today’s setback, we will try to find a way to continue to provide care to the population caught in his largely undocumented war.”
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs condemned the attack in a statement on Friday, stating that the Office “stresses the targeting of medical facilities is a serious violation of customary international humanitarian law,” adding that “the UN continues to call on all parties in the conflict in Sudan to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular in relation to the protection of civilians and to ensure safe, timely and unhindered access to humanitarian organizations.”
Conflict between government forces and rebel groups operating out of the Nuba Mountains has been ongoing in South Kordofan since 2011, when South Sudan voted for independence from the North and began to be ruled by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, instead of Khartoum. The northern branch of the movement, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement – North has been banned in Sudan by President Omar al-Bashir's government along with its military wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA-North), as a result of the continuing armed rebellion against Khartoum.