Sudanese Air Force Bomb Kills Pregnant Christian Mother in Nuba Mountains, Sudan

In Khartoum, another Christian-owned building confiscated.

Fellowship of Christian University Students facility confiscated by government. (Morning Star News)

Fellowship of Christian University Students facility confiscated by government. (Morning Star News)

JUBA, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – Sudan’s bombing of a civilian area in the Nuba Mountains on Friday (Feb. 6) killed a Christian woman who was nine months pregnant, a relative said.

Naheed Saeed Komi, a 25-year-old mother of a 3-year-old boy, was walking from her home in Tangali village, Dalami County in South Kordofan state, to fetch water when a bomb from a Sudanese Air Force plane hit nearby, killing her instantly, said her sister on condition of anonymity.

“My sister was pregnant and was expecting a child this month,” she said, breaking into tears. “An Antonov plane dropped one bomb; the blast hit her chest, killing her on the spot.”

Komi, an ethnic Nuba woman who was a member of the Sudanese Church of Christ, is survived by her husband and young son. Mourned at a funeral service yesterday, her death has left the Christian community in shock.

“We urge all right groups and humanitarian organizations to intervene and stop these killings,” a Christian leader from the region told Morning Star News.

There is no military presence or installation in the area where Komi was killed, another source said.

A Christian girl, Nour Kalowas of the Sudanese Church of Christ, was also reported to have been killed in the same bombing. Three others were seriously injured; their identities had not been established at press time, but it was believed that they were also Christians.

The area’s predominantly black ethnic Nuba people believe that since South Sudan split from Sudan in a 2011 referendum, the government’s goal of quashing Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) rebels in the Nuba Mountains is also meant to rid the area of non-Arabs and Christianity. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has said post-secession Sudan will adhere more exclusively to Islam and Arabic culture.

On Oct. 6, 2014, Sudan dropped bombs on Heiban, South Kordofan that killed six Christian children. Sudanese Air Force bombs destroyed an Episcopal Church of Sudan (now officially called the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan) complex on Oct. 10 in Tabolo, South Kordofan, church leaders said.

Nuba Reports, based in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan’s South Kordofan state, has verified 2,511 bombs dropped by Sudan on civilian targets since April 2012. Thousands of civilians have taken refuge in Nuba Mountain caves in South Kordofan, which borders South Sudan.

The Nuba people have longstanding complaints against Khartoum – including neglect, oppression and forced conversions to Islam in a 1990s jihad – but as Sudanese citizens on the northern side of the border, they were never given the option of secession in the 2005 peace pact between northern and southern Sudan.

The rebels in the Nuba Mountains were formerly involved with the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces fighting Khartoum before the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Fighting between Sudan and South Sudan broke out in June 2011, when Khartoum forcefully attempted to disarm the SPLA-N in South Kordofan by force rather than awaiting a process of disarmament as called for in the CPA. When the CPA was signed in 2005, the people of South Kordofan were to vote on whether to join the north or the south, but the state governor suspended the process.

Sudan’s bombing of civilian targets in the country’s Nuba Mountains in May and June last year killed at least 10 Christians, sources told Morning Star News. Four children and an elderly woman were among the victims of bombings. Church leaders and aid workers told Morning Star News that Sudan’s bombings of civilian areas in its war with the SPLA-N killed 14-year-old Abdo al Nour and Abdel Rahman Hassan, 15, in the village of Um Serdiba on June 13.

In the same area on May 20, according to the sources who requested anonymity, a Sudanese Air Force bombing killed 30-year-old Kimmia Calals of the Sudanese Church of Christ, leaving her nursing child motherless.

On June 17 in Tabalo village, a Sudanese bomb from an Antonov plane killed Yasin Salah, 16, and another minor, Ado al Sawaq, the sources said. On June 11 in the same village in Um Dorain County, 80-year-old Amira Ballula was killed when a plane dropped a bomb on her house, they said.

The bombing of civilian targets in South Kordofan state in May targeted the region’s only hospital and damaged an orphanage school and a relief agency, sources said. In Um Serdiba on May 18, Sife El Deen Ibrahim, 40, was killed immediately when a bomb from an Antonov jet hit the Christian’s house, an area church member requesting anonymity told Morning Star News.

Ibrahim left a widow and four children, ages 12, 15, 17 and 20, who were dependent on him for their livelihood, she said.

Christian Building Seized

In Khartoum, the government campaign of seizing or destroying Christian-owned properties continued last week as the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Feb. 4 confiscated a facility belonging to the Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS), said a source on condition of anonymity.

A representative of FOCUS confirmed the confiscation. The sources said NISS personnel went to the home of the general secretary of FOCUS in Khartoum and ordered that the property be handed over to them.

The government gave no reason for confiscating the property except to say that FOCUS was not properly registered with the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowment. The ministry had refused to register FOCUS without giving any reason.

The confiscation leaves the ministry without anywhere to operate, the FOCUS representative said.

“They [NISS] have taken everything from us, the last of which was the house of FOCUS,” he said.

In February 2013, NISS raided FOCUS offices and confiscated all equipment, including a vehicle and ownership papers of the FOCUS house, another source told Morning Star News. In March of that year, NISS ordered the campus ministry to stop its campus ministry on the pretext that it was not properly registered.

“The government of Sudan is targeting Christian-based institutions to stop the spread of Christianity in Sudan,” the church leader told Morning Star News. 

(Updated Feb. 12, 2015)

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