SUDAN WATCH: Sudanese army attacks Darfur civilians - African Union

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sudanese army attacks Darfur civilians - African Union

Reuters Oct 1 confirms the African Union (AU) accused the Sudanese government on Saturday of coordinating with Arab militias in attacks on civilians in Darfur, and said all parties to the conflict were violating ceasefire agreements:
"We must conclude that there is neither good faith nor commitment on the part of any of the parties," Baba Gana Kingibe, head of the AU mission in Sudan, told reporters in Khartoum.
About the Janjaweed attacks on villages and refugee camps in Darfur, he said government helicopters had been seen flying in the area at the time of at least one of the attacks.
"This apparent land and air assault gives credence to the repeated claim by the rebel movements of collusion between the government of Sudan forces and the Janjaweed," he said.
Kingibe also said government forces had "considerable and known" influence over the Arab militia and had ceased to restrain them in recent days as they had been doing in the past.

He said humanitarian workers had been forced to take shelter near AU camps during government attacks, and the upsurge in violence had hindered the humanitarian operations in the region.

"We expect a greater sense of responsibility ... on the part of the GOS troops and their allies than they have exhibited in the last four days," Kingibe said. He added even if the attacks were retaliation for rebel attacks, the government had used disproportionate force and targeted innocent civilians.

Full report by Opheera McDoom (Reuters) Oct 1, 2005.

A Sudanese policeman

Photo: A Sudanese policeman secures the Kalma camp near Nyala. (AFP) Khartoum admits arming and absorbing some tribes into regular armed forces, but denies any links to the Janjaweed, calling them criminals.
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Russia says concerned about Darfur violence

Moscow is concerned at the latest deterioration in the situation in Darfur, the Russian Foreign Ministry information and press department said Sep 30:
According to information obtained by the department, "after a period of relative calm the situation in the West Sudanese province of Darfur has deteriorated once again". This was attested, the Foreign Ministry reports, in the recent attack by armed detachments of the Janjaweed on the Aro Sharow refugee camp in Darfur.

"This can only be a cause for concern," the Foreign Ministry believes.

The ministry notes that Russia has always worked and continues to work on the premise that only a political settlement can bring an end to the conflict in West Sudan and establish peace and stability.

"The latest upsurge of violence in Darfur demands a show of restraint, compliance with cease-fire accords and immediate additional efforts by the Government of National Unity and other parties to the settlement as well as by African peacekeepers and the international community in order to prevent a worsening of the humanitarian situation and an escalation of tension in West Sudan," says the Foreign Ministry report. Full report (RIA Moscow/ST) Sept 30, 2005
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Sudan denies government troops were involved

Associated Press report Sep 30 reveals the Sudanese government, which the U.N. Security Council has repeatedly told to disarm the militia in Darfur, has not officially commented on the raid, which was the first armed assault on a camp for displaced people in more than two years of fighting in Darfur. Excerpt:
Hussein Barqu, a senior official of the National Congress, the major partner in the coalition government formed Sep 22, said no government troops were involved.

Describing the attack as the work of "outlaws," Barqu told The Associated Press Sep 30 the raid "threatened the security of both Sudan and Chad," which borders West Darfur. He added Sudan would consult the Chadian government about the suspected perpetrators.
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