20 February, 2002
The village of Bieh attacked by helicopter gunships while food aid was distributed. Five rockets were fired by the gunships. A large number of IDPs were in place, searching for food after being forcibly removed. The killing of at least 24 people and the wounding of many was reported.
Reference: ECOS 2002:15; MSF 2002:29; HRW 2003: 371-74, 403-4, 432, 513, 561; Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on bombings of civilian targets in Sudan, press release 6773/02 (Presse 58-G), P 27/02, Brussels, Belgium, February 28, 2002; Richard Boucher, Press Statement, “Aerial Attacks on Feeding Site in Sudan,” U.S. Department of State, February 21, 2002, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2002/8205.htm (accessed June 20, 2002); Eli J. Lake, “U.S. suspends talks with Sudan,” UPI, Washington, D.C., February 21, 2002; John C. Danforth, “Hope for peace? Gunship rockets blow up government promises,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, commentary column, February 24, 2002; Claudie Senay, second secretary, Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, “Canada Condemns Attacks on Civilians and Humanitarian Workers in Sudan,” email, March 5, 2002; this condemnation appeared to follow a fax to the office of the minister of foreign affairs by Gary W. Kenny, Africa Human Rights Researcher/Policy Advocate, KAIROS, Toronto, March 1, 2002, conveying his dismay at the ministry’s failure to issue an appropriate public statement, email to Human Rights Watch, March 1, 2002; “Sudan criticizes US suspension of peace efforts, probes civilian killings,” AFP, Khartoum, February 25, 2002; “Sudan Army Helicopter Rockets Civilians at UN Food Center,” AP, Nairobi, February 21, 2002; “NGO urges concerted action against civilian attacks,” IRIN, Nairobi, March 1, 2002; Julie Flint, “Fuels Flames of War in Sudan,” Guardian (London), Ngop, Southern Sudan, March 7, 2002; WFP press release, “WFP condemns attack on civilians at food distribution in Southern Sudan,” New York/Nairobi, February 21, 2002; OCHA press release, “Statement Attributable to ERC [U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator], WFP Executive Director and UNICEF Executive Director on Attacks on Civilians in Sudan,” February 21, 2002; Government of Norway press release, “Norway condemns attack by Sudan government on civilians,” February 21, 2002; “UK angry as civilians in Sudan killed,” Birmingham [U.K.] Post, February 23, 2002; E.U. press release, “Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on bombings of civilian targets in Sudan,” February 28, 2002; CARE press release, “Humanitarian agencies condemn government attacks on civilians,” Atlanta, March 4, 2002, All Africa Global Media, March 4, 2002; HRW press release, “Sudan: Investigage Helicopter Killings,” New York, March 1, 2002, http://hrw.org/press/2002/03/sudan0301.htm (accessed September 23, 2003); Letter, Jim Buckee, Talisman CEO, to Mustafa Osman Ismail and Awad Ahmed El Jazz, Sudanese government ministers of foreign affairs and energy and mining, respectively, February 26, 2002, provided by Reg Manhas of Talisman, email to Human Rights Watch, March 6, 2002; Embassy of the Republic of Sudan to Germany, press release, February 24, 2002, translation provided by Sudan Focal PointEurope; “Sudan voices regret over ‘mistaken’ bombing of civilians,” AFP, Cairo, February 28, 2002; see “Sudan says its helicopter fired on civilians receiving U.N. aid,” AP, Cairo, February 28, 2002; Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) chastised the State Department, the agency responsible for the civil protection monitoring project, for its delay in implementing the agreement at a hearing on July 11, 2002, held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. See Federal Document Clearing House, Inc. for July 11, 2002, from CQ Testimony Service, 209 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003; Aktbilaga 640, pp 35, 42, 52, 61-74, 103; Aktbilaga 645, p 49