Sudan says to withdraw Antonov planes in Darfur
Reuters report Feb 5 confirms Sudan said today it would remove all its Antonov planes and would not use them at all in Darfur, where it has been accused of using the aircraft to bomb villages.
"We are not going to use Antonov aircraft at all anymore," Interior Minister Abdel Rahim Hussein told Reuters during a trip to the remote west on Saturday. "We are not going to use them at all not for anything," he said.
The governor of North Darfur state, Osman Kedir, said all the aircraft had been withdrawn from the region. "They have been withdrawn. All of them and they will not return -- from all of Darfur," he said.
The government has said it needs to fly the planes for reconnaissance and said the ceasefire and security deals signed with the rebels only banned them from bombing, not from flying their aircraft.
First Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, on his FIRST visit to Darfur since taking responsibility for the region last month, said on Saturday he wanted to see for himself what had been happening. He met international aid workers in all three Darfur states.