Sudanese Villagers Find No Haven From War

SUDAN'S civilians are feeling the impact of the ongoing war. Aicur Nhial, 11, is one of them.

She had returned from the village school here one day recently and was working in the family's small sorghum field when a plane appeared.

In recent weeks, the same big, silver plane, apparently coming out of Sudan government military bases, had been bombing numerous rebel-held areas.

Sometimes the bombs fell on rebel garrison towns, but often they hit nonmilitary villages as well.

``The plane came above us twice, then it released the bombs,'' she explained the next day in a frightened voice, while lying on a mat in the village clinic. The plane dropped six bombs in fields more than a mile from the center of the village.

Twisted steel fragments from the sixth bomb fractured Aicur's left thigh. Another fragment broke her mother's leg.

The heat flash from the blast ignited the thatch on the family's mud-walled home, burning the roof and the family's meager possessions inside to ash.

Altogether 19 people around the village were injured, four of them severely. ``Since it [the village] is a nonmilitary target, the objective might be to kill or create havoc among the people,'' said a Sudanese in the nearby rebel garrison town of Bor. He works for the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association, the relief arm of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army.

The plane also released half a dozen bombs in the vicinity of a rebel military camp on the outskirts of Bor.

During a recent visit, the bomb-bay doors of the plane opened directly over the United Nations compound in Bor where this reporter and a group of UN and Sudanese relief personnel were gathered.

But no bombs fell from that particular pass over the compound.

Alier Mach, about 7 years old, lives just behind the UN compound. He heard the bombs fall about half a mile away.

``I was terrified,'' he said moments later. ``I ran and hid behind a tree.'' -30-{et

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