SUDAN WATCH: AU condemns SLM/A-Minnawi group torture - It's possible Minnawi's troops acted against his instructions says UN SRSG Pronk

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

AU condemns SLM/A-Minnawi group torture - It's possible Minnawi's troops acted against his instructions says UN SRSG Pronk

News from the African Union Mission in Darfur has been pretty quiet for a while. All of a sudden today, the day when the Sudanese government is expected to provide the UN with a plan for change in Darfur, there are a number of news reports quoting the AU.

This could be a reason for the AU's silence: see July 9 2006 Sudan's plan to disarm Janjaweed given to AU July 8, 2006?

Since the following article refers to SLM/A-Minnawi faction as "a former Darfur rebel group", it would appear Minnawi's group, after signing the Darfur Peace Agreement, is now considered part of the official Sudanese forces.

Aug 1, 2006 Sudan Tribune report says the AU has condemned the torture practiced by 'a former Darfur rebel group', which signed peace deal, inside the AU compound in Al-Fasher. Excerpt:
The AU said in a press release issued today that AU representative in Sudan Baba Gana Kingibe, "shocked and horrified at the incidence of torture which occurred in the SLA quarters in Al Fasher whereby a middle aged unidentified individual was brutally beaten and blooded all over, including severe blows to his head, on two successive days, the 17th and 18th July, 2006".

The AU force attempted to intervene, but were rebuffed by SLA elements who dragged the victim back into their compound, the AU said. Colonel Ali Mokhtar, the leader of the group claimed that the victim was an SLA soldier under discipline. The fate of the victim is not known. "This incident lends credence to the previous incessant allegations" said the AU statement.

Ambassador Kingibe urged Minawi to order an immediate end to this practice. He further demands a thorough investigation of this particular incident and the culprits made accountable.

The AU affirmed its readiness to provide non military support to the Sudanese parties as required by the DPA, "but such cooperation cannot be expected by any party that condones torture and inhumane treatment of its own members, much less the civilian population in Darfur".
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SLM/A-Minnawi faction attacked civilians in Korma region nr El-Fasher

Aug 1, 2006 Swissinfo/Reuters report excerpt:
Darfur rebels who signed a peace deal with the government killed and raped civilians to try to force them to support the unpopular accord, human rights group Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

"Some 72 people were killed, 103 injured and 39 women raped in targeted attacks against civilians in the Korma region," said Amnesty in a statement.

The attacks were at the beginning of July in Korma, about 70 km (45 miles) north west of el-Fasher, Darfur's main town. Around 8,000 people fled their homes, emptying Korma.

"The attackers were members of the Minni Minnawi faction of the armed political group the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), reportedly supported by the Sudan armed forces and the Janjaweed," London-based Amnesty said.

Amnesty said civilians had reported the attacks to the AU force on July 5, but the SLA had opposed the AU going to Korma. Only an AU outpost in nearby Tawila had gone to Korma but it had not issued its findings.
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It's possible Minnawi's troops acted against his instructions says UNSRSG Pronk

July 25, 2006 Coalition for Dafur blog entry Pronk on the Splintering DPA
"Sudan Watch notes this informative post from Jan Pronk's blog:

In particular Minnie Minawi's faction has been accused of attacking civilians as well, with gross violations of human rights. Minnie Minawi has denied this and as long as an investigation has not taken place he should be given the benefit of the doubt. It is possible that his troops acted against his instructions. It would not be the first time that this has happened on either side of the conflict .The AU has refrained from carrying out an investigation, which makes it difficult to ascertain the truth. However, thousands of people have fled their homes. They have told stories which resemble those of last year, when they were attacked by militia."


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