Sudan Air Force jets. (Internet photo)

Outrage as SAF airstrike kills 10 civilians, hundreds of camels in North Darfur

Several Sudanese political, civil society and social groups have condemned an airstrike by the Sudanese Air Force last Thursday night in the Mellit area of North Darfur State.

Several Sudanese political, civil society and social groups have condemned an airstrike by the Sudanese Air Force last Thursday night in the Mellit area of North Darfur State which killed 10 civilians and more than 300 camels.

The Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces, also known as Tagadum, issued a press statement denouncing what they termed as ongoing airstrikes and the targeting of civilian institutions.

“The Sudanese Army’s aerial assault is part of a series of continuous airstrikes since the onset of the war, targeting civilian infrastructure and resulting in numerous casualties across various parts of Sudan,” the statement read. “This has led to significant loss of life and destruction of infrastructure in the capital (Khartoum), Darfur, Kordofan, and Al-Jazeera, to disrupt the lives of those residing in areas beyond the control of government forces.”

A resident of the Mellit area, in a recorded video segment, reported preliminary statistics indicating that the dead from the aerial bombardment amounted to 7 individuals. Additionally, he noted the death of 350 camels and the destruction of several structures and water wells.

“The airstrikes destroyed water sources, causing significant damage to the region,” he said.

The source urged the international community to intervene and stressed the need to investigate the situation in the Mellite area and assess the extent of the damage inflicted upon it.

There are also reports that the Sudanese Air Force used cluster bombs, a development witnessed for the first time in the area.

He also advised residents to avoid using water that may be contaminated by the aftermath of the airstrikes and the remains of dead animals.

Relatedly, amidst divisions among the Darfur communities, Prince Abdulbaqi Judah, a prominent figure of the Mahamid tribe, held Sheikh Musa Hilal accountable for the carnage inflicted on the residents of the Mellit area by the airstrike. He described Hilal as someone attempting to fracture Darfur’s community, noting that the aerial bombardment in Mellit resulted in the personal loss of one of Hilal’s relatives, in addition to severe damage to the region’s livestock.

“Sheikh Musa Hilal should have taken the initiative to mediate in halting the war and pushing conflict parties towards negotiations through the Jeddah Platform instead of fuelling conflict and divisions in the region,” Prince Judah stated.