SUDAN WATCH: Sudan: Head of AU Mission in Darfur says mandate is sufficient, security is improving, 3m war affected and rising

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sudan: Head of AU Mission in Darfur says mandate is sufficient, security is improving, 3m war affected and rising

Amb Baba Gana Kingibe, Head of African Union Mission in Darfur (AMIS) in an interview with IRIN on July 18 claims fighting between Darfur rebel groups SLA and JEM and government troops has, over the last few months, more or less vanished. Banditry continues as usual and there are still no go areas for aid workers - quote:
"The humanitarian situation is not really something cheerful, and the prognosis also doesn't look good. There are attacks on convoys, particularly food convoys, and fraud in the distribution of humanitarian materials in the camps.

Right now the number of war-affected is rising; we are looking at something like three million. Quite a number - about 200,000 - are new arrivals, so there is a lot of work that needs to be done."
To date, the African Union (AU) has 3,392 personnel on the ground in Darfur. The number is expected to increase to 7,500 troops by the end of September.

Note, in the above mentioned interview, head of AMIS says he believes AU troops in Darfur have a sufficient mandate.

See July 20 BBC report Security in Darfur 'is improving.'
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UN not responsible for security in Darfur - official

KHARTOUM, July 16, 2005 (KUNA) -- UN mission in Sudan said Saturday it was not its job to safeguard security in Darfur.

Sudanese army soldiers

Photo: Sudanese army soldiers patrol on camels outside the Mornay camp in western Darfur, Sudan. (AFP).
"A UN official said in remarks here that the African Union was responsible for the security in Darfur in western Sudan.

The official underlined UN commitment to supporting Sudan by a peacekeeping force of 10,750 troops.

The protection of civilians is the responsibility of the Sudanese government, he added. He said the international forces would defend themselves if they were attacked."
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Rwandan troops to Darfur

Photo July 17 AFP - Rwandan troops of the African Union force wait to board a plane at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda to be dispatched to Darfur. US President George W. Bush directed the Pentagon to spend six million dollars in 'commodities and services' to help transport African Union troops to Darfur. (AFP/File/Jose Cendon)

U.S. military to assist with Darfur deployment

Germany - US Sudan airlift

July 16 via AP - In above picture provided by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Airmen process through a deployment line at U.S. airbase in Ramstein, southern Germany, Friday July 15, 2005 in preparation for a month-long airlift mission to Darfur. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Master Sgt. David D. Underwood, Jr.)

Germany - US Sudan Airlift

July 16 via AP - In a picture provided by the U.S. Air Force a soldiers signals to a plane as three C-130 Hercules aircraft and approximately 40 airmen depart from U.S. airbase in Ramstein, southern Germany, for Kigali, Rwanda, Saturday, July 16, 2005, as part of NATO's response to support the African Union's expanded peacekeeping mission in Darfur with logistics and training. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Master Sgt. David D. Underwood, Jr.)
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Dr Rice departs for Sudan

On July 19, 2005 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made her first trip to Africa since becoming secretary of state, with two stops in Sudan.

China's Xinhua News Agency reports Sudanese government welcomes Rice's visit - quote:
"I'll try to say to people that there is hope, that nobody is forgotten, that we are working very very hard," Rice said of her planned visit to Darfur.

I'll talk to the non-government organisations that are on the front lines." she said. "And I'll say that even the darkest moments in any country can be overcome. It's a very horrible situation."
July 20 Guardian report Rice Speaks on Ending Violence in Darfur - excerpt:
Rice told delegates at a U.S.-Africa trade conference that the additional $1 million in U.S. grants would help West African nations improve transportation safety and infrastructure to enhance international trade.

"Only the people of Africa can solve the problems of Africa," she said. "But for these men and women to fulfill their dreams of democracy and security and prosperity, all developed nations have a responsibility to help."
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Darfur's rebel groups reach deal

BBC report July 19 states two main rebel groups in Darfur, SLA and JEM have agreed to stop attacking each other.

Darfur rebel

Note, the report does not say the Darfur rebels have agreed to stop attacking government forces.

Still more more talk.
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Hassan Turabi

July 17 via AP - Hassan Turabi (pictured above) the Islamist leader recently freed from a year and a half of house arrest for allegedly plotting a coup, told the Associated Press in Khartoum, Sunday, July 17, 2005 that he wants to bring free democracy to Sudan. He criticized the new constitution and said he wants closer relations with the U.S. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

SPLA arrive in Khartoum
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Ex-rebel group SPLA in joint peacekeeping force for southern Sudan

July 18 via AP - The first batch of troops of John Garang's Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) arrive in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, July 18, 2005, ready to form the joint peace keeping force in southern Sudan. The two main rebel movements in Darfur western Sudan have signed an agreement to stop all acts of enmities and friction between their supporters to maintain unity in the strife-torn province. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

SPLA rebel

Photo: A soldier from the SPLA stands guard at a camp in Khartoum, Monday, July 18, 2005. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
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USA: Oregon Divestment - Passes the House

Thanks to Sudan Activism Blog for this piece of news July 20, 2005:
Oregon Senate just voted a couple of minutes ago to pass SB 1089-which divests Oregon's pension system and other public investments from companies in Sudan. The vote was unanimous and the bill now goes to the House for consideration.
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Thought for today

From le blog de Fearless in the UK - with thanks:
If suicide bombings are inextricably linked to Islam, then why do the largest Muslim nations in the Africa/Middle East (Sudan & Iran) have no instances of suicide bombings?

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