SUDAN WATCH: Protests greet UN's Egeland in Darfur, before Gereida visit

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Protests greet UN's Egeland in Darfur, before Gereida visit

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs was greeted by protesters on Sunday as he arrived in Nyala, the largest city in southern Darfur, to assess the humanitarian crisis in the region, CNN Senior Correspondent Nic Robertson reported today:
As Jan Egeland stepped off his plane, several dozen protesters chanted and waved banners saying "No to international interference," an apparent reference to a proposal to send U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur to calm the violence that has killed 180,000 people and displaced 2 million others.

Saturday, a spokesman for the Sudanese government suggested that Sudan would welcome U.N. peacekeepers, but a foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters on Sunday that the government had not yet decided whether to allow the so-called "blue helmets" into the region.
Further reading

May 7 2006 BBC report UN's aid chief heads for Darfur: Mr Egeland says access for aid workers is at its worst for two years. He is expected to travel to the town of Gereida which is held by the rebel group which signed the peace deal and have talks with local leaders and visit refugee camps before heading to Khartoum on Monday for meetings with Sudanese officials.

May 7 2006 IRIN report UN humanitarian chief visits strife-torn Darfur: Humanitarian workers had last week expressed fears that Gereida, which provides refuge to an estimated 90,000 displaced persons, might come under siege following a series of attacks on rebel-controlled villages in South Darfur. Leaders in displaced communities said more than 300 villages around Gereida have been abandoned because of the threat of attack since November 2005. Excerpt:
According to United Nations sources, on 24 April, the Sudanese government used an Antonov plane and two helicopter gunships to attack the rebel-controlled village of Joghana, southeast of Gereida, which displaced an additional 25,000 people. Earlier, on 16 April, government forces attacked and retook the rebel-controlled town of Donkey Dreisa, 50 km north of Gereida. On 21 April, Janjawid militia and government forces jointly attacked Dito town, 25km northeast of Gereida. The attacks have exacerbated the already dire situation for many civilians across Darfur.

Interfactional skirmishes have also complicated the situation. Fighting between two SLA factions escalated near Shangil Tobayi and Tawilla in North Darfur during the second half of April, displacing thousands.
Mar 2 2006 Gereida, South Darfur - "I know how many women and children have been killed. That is ethnic cleansing, and it should stop," UN envoy Pronk declared

Mar 11 2006 AU calls for SLA to withdraw from Gereida, South Darfur - JEM rebels say 27 killed by gov't, Janjaweed in Gereida area

Mar 16 2006 Sudanese air force bombed villages of Donkey Dreisa and Omgonya in South Darfur last month?

Apr 3 2006 Sudan Watch: What's going on in Janana, S Darfur? 60 villages attacked by Janjaweed while Khartoum "safeguards" Norwegians from being in Sudan for next 2 weeks?

Apr 28 2006 AU confirms Sudan gov't bombing of Joghana, S Darfur - In 3 months, 200,000 people forced to flee, says UNICEF

May 3 2006 Sudan's SLA rebel attacks on aid workers in North Darfur breaks international humanitarian law

Darfur peace talks Abuja May 2006

Photo: Leader of the Sudanese delegation Mazjoud el-Khalifa (R) exchanges the African Union (AU) draft peace agreement for Darfur with Minni Minawi, leader of the Sudanese Liberation Army rebel faction in Abuja. The AU promised to continue international efforts to bring lasting peace to Sudan's western Darfur region despite the refusal of a rebel group and a faction of another to sign a United Nations-sponsored agreement. (AFP/Wole Emmanuel)

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