SUDAN WATCH: Sudan threatens HIV/AIDS tests on Nigerian troops in Darfur

Friday, October 29, 2004

Sudan threatens HIV/AIDS tests on Nigerian troops in Darfur

The Sudanese government has been killing its people in Darfur for the past 20 months. At least 70,000 deaths have been reported since March. 10,000 refugees are dying each month.

Today, all of a sudden, it is overly concerned about safeguarding the health of the people of Darfur.

Sudan has given a contingent of Nigerian troops in Darfur until Saturday to produce certificates proving they are not infected with the HIV virus or undergo screening.

"The authorities will never be tolerant with regards to the safety of the people of the state," North Darfur Governor Osman Youssef Kibir was quoted as saying.

He was referring to a group of 47 soldiers who arrived in El-Fasher yesterday.

Health Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said Monday that an AIDS-free policy would be applied to AU troops being deployed in the region.

He said the measure was purely precautionary and aimed at "safeguarding the health of the people of Darfur."

Those coming without internationally recognized health certificates would have to undergo medical tests on entering Sudan and before proceeding to Darfur, the minister added.

SUNA reported that, despite the warning, the Nigerian troops failed to bring the mandatory health certificates, saying that all their documents had been forwarded to AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

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