SUDAN WATCH: State of emergency declared in Sudan’s North Darfur

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

State of emergency declared in Sudan’s North Darfur

According to a report out of Khartoum today, Governor Osman Yusuf Kibir declared a state of emergency across north Darfur and a curfew in the wake of “a grave military escalation by the rebels.”

Lord Alton, the founder of the human rights campaign Jubilee, believes the international community has been "duped". He explained that the Sudanese government had been required by a United Nations mandatory resolution to disarm militia, and this had not been done. "There is a whiff of Munich about this," said Lord Alton, who last visited Sudan in September.

He said he backed a letter to a national newspaper from shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram, Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock, and Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell.

The trio is calling for better resources to provide for those affected by the war, a no-fly zone to be imposed over west Darfur, and targeted sanctions, including oil sanctions.
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Oxfam UK says EU must take action

European Union foreign ministers faced a call yesterday to take tougher action in western Darfur as new violence has cut off aid supplies to over 150,000 people.

"The EU must immediately take robust action to force the warring parties in Darfur to comply with their commitments to protect civilians in Darfur," U.K.-based Oxfam International said in a statement.

The charity denounced deteriorating security on roads caused by bandits and warring factions, which were forcing it to use helicopters to fly aid to four towns in the western region of Sudan.

The EU is supporting an African Union plan to send more than 3,000 peacekeepers to Darfur, offering advisors and $100 million to cover almost half the costs of the operations.

The bloc has also considered sanctions such as a travel ban or asset freeze against Sudanese leaders. - Agencies
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Save the Children UK aid workers flee violence

Yesterday, Save The Children, UK, said at least 30 of their workers and some other people were airlifted from the Tawilla area, in North Darfur state, where fighting between rebels and Arab militia has raged since Sunday.

UN spokesman George Somerwill, said 45 people were airlifted to safety by an AU helicopter after fleeing into bush areas.

He said a tribal dispute over livestock sparked the clashes and resulted in rebel SLA forces attacking the Janjaweed.

AU monitors said six civilians were killed during the clashes, which followed a ceasefire deal signed between rebels and the Sudanese government on November 9.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said that reports of violence against women and children in and around IDP camps in Darfur appeared to be on the increase. A UNICEF statement said armed militias were raping girls and women in Darfur as a tactic to terrorise and humiliate individuals as well as families and communities.

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