SUDAN WATCH: Sudan govt violates humanitarian law: Annan

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sudan govt violates humanitarian law: Annan

EUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned the Sudan government that its restrictions on vital supplies and relief workers distributing them in Darfur constituted a violation of international humanitarian law, Reuters's Evelyn Leopold reported May 23, 2006 - excerpt:
In a report sent to the UN Security Council on Monday, Annan also said atrocities, including rape, pillaging and driving people from their homes, were swelling the population in squalid camps, now about 2.5 million.

Humanitarian access has been limited by the Khartoum government's refusal to allow foreign aid groups to hire national staff. Officials have also harassed U.N. staff about travel documents, especially in areas held by the rebel Sudanese Liberation Army in south Darfur.

"At the same time, government-imposed embargoes on certain essential items, including fuel, foodstuffs and other humanitarian assistance entering SLA-held areas in South Darfur, have prevented the access of civilians to vital goods and constitute a violation of international humanitarian law," Annan wrote in the 10-page report.

While he put much of the blame on the government and Arab militia supporting it, the rebels, who have broken into splinter groups, have hijacked relief trucks and forced four assistance groups to suspend food distribution.

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