NEW YORK, 22 February (Office of Special Representative) — The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara A. Otunnu, has called on the parties to the conflict in the Sudan to take measures to ensure that their forces do not attack civilian populations and sites.

This follows reports that 14 children and a teacher from the Upper Kaouda Holy Cross School were killed and 17 other children were injured in the Nuba Mountain region on 25 January, when a bomb dropped from an aircraft close to a tree where a lesson was taking place.

I was particularly distressed to learn of the recent killing and injuring of students at the Holy Cross School , said Mr. Otunnu. Such attacks are clear violations of relevant international humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. During my visits to the Sudan, both the Government and the Sudan People s Liberation Movement made commitments to ensure the protection of civilian populations. I call upon both parties to the conflict to concrete measures to ensure that their forces honour these commitments.

The Special Representative has called on the Government of the Sudan to carry out an urgent and full investigation into the Upper Kaouda School incident.

For more information, contact:Salman Shaikh, Office of the Special Representative, New York; tel. 212-963-6194.