UN Sudan Situation Reports - 27, 29 and 31 May 2005
UN Sudan Situation Report 27 May 2005
On 26 May, the AU announced the appointment of Dr Salim Ahmed Salim as its Special Envoy for the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur. The AU also announced on the same day that the peace talks on Darfur would resume in Abuja on 10 June. SG Annan and SRSG Pronk attended the Darfur Donors' conference in Addis Ababa on 26 May. Today, the Secretary-General arrives in Khartoum for meetings with GoS officials, SRSG Pronk and UNMIS leadership and address UN staff working in Sudan in a Town Hall meeting. On 28 May, SG Annan will visit Darfur.
A GoS administrative convoy was reportedly ambushed on 24 May on El-Fasher-Tawilla road. The ambush took place near Kuwuima village, 20 km East of Tawilla. 3 GoS policemen were killed, 4 injured and one driver was abducted by the assailants.
A GoS military/police patrol was attacked on 24 May on the road between Tawilla and Kebkabiya (20 km west of Tawilla) and allegedly killed 3 policemen, injured 3 and kidnapped another. Police indicated a week ago that they are intensifying patrols on the road to prevent banditry activities on the road which has been prominent during the last month.
Reports indicate that on 25 May, 4 armed bandits attacked a commercial vehicle at Gussa 28 km NW of Nyala. The village is 2 km off the NyalaKass road, which is notorious for banditry.
On 25 May, the AU was informed that regular harassment of the residents of Kulo village allegedly by the nomads forced many of them to desert the village.
On the 25 May, a commercial truck hit an anti-tank landmine on the road between Kassala and Awad. No injuries were reported. According to local sources, the mine is an old mine that was exposed by the rain. The road remains a NO GO area fro UN operations.
An incident took place on 24 May along Kassala Port Sudan highway at Amadam (between Hadila and Wagar). Two soldiers and three staff members from Council of Legislation travelling in a Land Cruiser and a Toyota Pick Up were ambushed and kidnapped by suspected armed members of the opposition Beja Congress and some elements of SLA who are active in the area. The two vehicles and five people are still missing. A search by Government forces in the area is continuing. In light of this incident, UN staff movements from Kassala - Port Sudan are suspended until further notice.
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UN Sudan Situation Report 29 May 2005
After attending the AU pledging conference in Addis Ababa on 26 May, Secretary-General Kofi Annan visited Khartoum on 27 May and South Darfur on 28 May.
On 26 May, the AU reported that GoS Forces had reported that its administrative convoy moving from Tawilla to Kabkabiya was ambushed by forces alleged to be SLA 8 km to Omm. Preliminary investigation revealed that one GoS Police was killed and eight injured. In a related development, GoS filed a written complaint with the CFC Chairman claiming that the past few days had witnessed a couple of ambushes against GoS forces on the Tawilla - Kabkabiya road which left many killed and many more injured. The GoS forces expressed their intention to clear the route using superior forces within 2hrs if the situation persist.
On 27 May, the AU reported a clash on 26 May between IDPs and GoS Police at ZamZam IDP camp which left 1 IDP dead and six injured. The reason for the gunfire remains unclear. Reportedly 6 persons are under arrest. There was considerable tension in the camp and the area was subsequently declared NO GO. AU CIV POL and MILOBs were deployed to the area to help restore calm. The situation has reportedly returned to normal and the security restrictions were lifted. Detailed investigation is ongoing.
On 28 May, firing was reported to the AU at Muhajeria by the Military Observers Group Sector (MGS) stationed in the area. AU reported that due to confrontation between SLA and JEM in Muhajeria five people, including a three year old child, have sustained bullet wounds. The small child was later reported to be in critical condition requiring further medvac. MSF are treating the child.
On 23 May 2005, a Dinka Bor rustled a few cattle from Mundari Camp in Gemeiza approx. 98 km north of Juba along Juba to Bor road. Some Mundari pursued and caught the Dinka Bor and beaten him to death. The Mundari tribesmen, fearing a counter attack, withdrew to Mangala approx. 60 km north of Juba. The situation is tense and due to the history between these tribes and that both are armed.
It was reported that on 26 May at the local Red Sea State university in Port Sudan some demonstrations took place over student elections and the involvement of the different political parties in it. Police were deployed and had to use teargas to control the situation.
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UN Sudan Situation Report 31 May 2005
The Head of Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF-H) in Sudan was released on bail on 30 May following a brief arrest. In Nyala, the Darfur co-ordinator for MSF-H, was detained on 31 May for the same reasons.
An international NGO convoy experienced some harassment at Durti checkpoint on 29 May. They were asked to produce a permit for the fuel they were carrying or else pay the soldiers with fuel. UNDSS intervened through the Army commander; the convoy was released, and the soldiers were reportedly prosecuted.
The GoS security committee in North Darfur has communicated to UNMIS that in response to several complaints/allegations of sexual abuse reportedly committed by GoS personnel, it has issued a directive to the military commanders in different locations that serious action will be taken against them if found implicated in such acts.
On 29 May, a conference was held in Zalingei as a follow-up to the Khartoum Conference on Peaceful Co-existence held in March. Participants included HAC and GoS security authorities, Arab traditional leaders and all humanitarian agencies in the area. The aim was to find ways of improving the security situation in the area and to promote intertribal cooperation.
UNHCR has spoken to refugees in Kounoungo camp in Chad. Despite statements made on 17 May by sheikhs claiming to represent the refugees, the refugees indicated they do not want to return due to insecurity.
The Head of Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) in Khartoum, Paul Foreman, was released on bail on 30 May following a brief arrest by the GoS authorities for "crimes against the state." However, according to a statement released by MSF, Mr. Foreman will not be allowed to leave the country. Charges against MSF are related to crimes against the State, after publishing a report on sexual violence in Darfur on 8 March in which they documented that hundreds of women and girls in Darfur were the victims of sexual violence. On 31 May, Vincent Hoedt, Darfur co-ordinator for MSF-H in Nyala, was brought to Khartoum to answer questions by the authorities. He has then been released on bail.
During an interview given to Al-Wan newspaper on 30 May, Sudanese Foreign Minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, stated that he would not continue as Foreign Minister after the establishment of the Government of the National Unity (GNU), nor accept any Ministerial post within the GNU. He stated the decision signaled the GoS was sincere about its intention to give opportunities to the SPLM/A to participate in Sudan's foreign policy.