By Mohammed Amin
The Sudanese army has denied reports about using cluster bombs against civilians in South Kordofan State, where its forces have been fighting rebels.
"This is a totally fabricated and baseless report," army spokesman Col. Alswarmy Khalid told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.
"We never used this kind of weapons in war areas in Sudan," he added.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) group has accused the Sudanese army of dropping cluster bombs in civilian areas in South Kordofan in February and March.
The New York-based group said in a report on Thursday that its researchers had visited Southern Kordofan this month and found evidence of six cluster bombs, including remnants of the weapons such as dud explosive sub-munitions, apparently dropped by government aircraft on villages in Delami and Um Durein counties.
"Sudan should immediately stop using these horrendous weapons, destroy its stockpiles, and respect the prohibition on cluster munitions by joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions," HRW's Africa director Daniel Bekele said.
The Sudanese spokesman, however, dismissed the claims, saying that his forces were fighting small rebel groups in limited areas.
"We are fighting for our people, so how it comes we kill them by using these kinds of weapons. This is impossible," the spokesman said.
"Everybody who knows the ABCs of the war techniques will know that we are fighting against guerilla groups and that does not need such bombs," he said.
Cluster bombs are proscribed by the U.N. Convention on Cluster Munitions – which Sudan has yet to join – because they leave behind large numbers of unexploded ordnance and don't allow a distinction between combatants and civilians.
Since 2011, the Sudanese army has been fighting the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile staes near the border with South Sudan.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.