The noise of the explosions could be heard 15 kilometers away. The missiles were made in China and Iran and do not strike only military targets, but also villages, according to MISNA sources in the Nuba mountains who accuse the Sudanese Armed Forces in a region where the peace agreements of 2005 have not been sufficient.
“The missiles,” officials said, from the town of Kadugli, “can travel as far as 40 kilometers and, when they explode, they fling shrapnel up to 150 meters away.”
According to these witnesses, confirmed to MISNA by journalists of the local “Radio Voice of Peace”, the missiles have killed many people since the resumption of fighting between the armed forces in Khartoum and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLM -N).
According to one source, the death toll from December is at least 18 and among them are children.
The use of missiles was admitted by a spokesman of the Armed Forces in Khartoum. These weapons, said Al-Sawarmi Khalid, have been ”part of the fighting” and have also been supplied by the rebels.
MISNA sources, however, said that the conflict is not symmetrical. SPLM-N has used only small range rockets and only “during combat itself.”
According to a survey published last month by the U.S. daily “The New York Times,” Khartoum has used “Weishi” rockets made in China, which can be launched from the platforms of military trucks, with a range of 40 km, a cruise speed of 4800 miles an hour and a load of explosives weighing 150 kilograms.
This kind of firepower, said MISNA sources, plus the bombers and helicopters made in China that operate in areas have also bombed villages and cultivated fields.
The Nuba Mountains saw renewed fighting last June, just weeks before the proclamation of independence of South Sudan from Khartoum. The administrative status of the region should be defined by a referendum required by the agreements that seven years ago put an end to the second Sudanese civil war (1983-2005), but the consultation was postponed sine die.
Khartoum justifies its military offensive with the support that would be offered by the former rebel SPLM-N now in power in Juba.
According to UN estimates, the conflict in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile in the neighboring region has driven over 400,000 people away from their homes, while some 185,000 refugees have crossed the border with South Sudan and Ethiopia.