SUDAN WATCH: UNAMID investigated GOS air strikes Nov 21-22 Abu Dangal - SLA attacked army base El-Hilif, N.Darfur - SLA-Unity attacked aid convoy S.Darfur Nov 13?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

UNAMID investigated GOS air strikes Nov 21-22 Abu Dangal - SLA attacked army base El-Hilif, N.Darfur - SLA-Unity attacked aid convoy S.Darfur Nov 13?

Sudan government breaks Darfur ceasefire: UN's Ban
November 27, 2008 (Reuters) report via All Africa:
UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday he was disappointed that Sudan's government was still conducting military activity in Darfur in violation of a cease-fire and urged restraint from all sides.

Ban's office said in a statement Darfur's joint U.N./African Union UNAMID peacekeeping force had investigated reports of air strikes by the Sudanese government from November 21 to November 22 in Abu Dangal in South Darfur.

"(They) confirmed visible effects of air strikes, including four craters created by bombing and the presence of unexploded ordnance on the ground," the statement said.

"The Secretary-General reiterates his call for all parties to use restraint and renew their commitment to an immediate and unconditional cease-fire," the statement said.

"The Secretary-General further expresses his disappointment that military activity by the government continues in Darfur, particularly in light of the 12 November announcement of an immediate cease-fire by the government."

UNAMID peacekeepers said on Sunday a delegation from an arm of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) had reported that government forces and state-backed militias attacked its post in Abu Dangal on Friday, and bombed the area the next day.

The five-year-old Darfur conflict, international experts say, has killed 200,000 people and driven 2.5 million from their homes. Khartoum says only 10,000 have died.

The latest reported violence came just over a week after Sudan's president announced an "immediate and unconditional" cease-fire in the western region.

Sudan is stepping up diplomatic efforts to block a move by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to indict President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of orchestrating war crimes in Darfur.
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Sudan, Darfur rebels fight deadly clashes
November 20, 2008 (AFP) report via UNMIS Media Monitoring:

Sudanese troops and regional rebels fought deadly clashes in northern Darfur on Thursday, accusing each other of mounting bloody attacks to torpedo a unilateral government ceasefire.

The violence came as the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court sought arrest warrants for three unnamed rebel commanders and eight days after President Omar al-Beshir declared a ceasefire in the war-torn western region.

The army and a witness said fighting erupted when rebels from the nebulous Sudan Liberation Army attacked an army base at El-Hilif in North Darfur state.

Journalist Kurt Pelda, Africa correspondent for Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung who is travelling with Darfur rebels, said the rebels tried but failed to capture a relatively new, well fortified military camp.

"Soon after, two Antonovs came and also helicopters. What I could see is that the Antonovs dropped the bombs just randomly. Later I heard the sound of the rockets that they used (from helicopters)," he told AFP by telephone.

Suleiman Marajan, an SLA commander in the area, said five rebels were killed in fighting with the government forces and charged that government bombing burnt one village "completely." "He (Beshir) broke his ceasefire himself," he said.

Pelda said he saw one dead rebel and several wounded after the rebel attack, which he said came two days after an Antonov struck a suspected rebel area that turned out to be nomadic settlement, dropping 20 bombs.

Army spokesman Brigadier General Mohamed Osman al-Aghbash accused rebels of attacking troops four times since the ceasefire, killing at least four soldiers and leaving another eight missing. He said one soldier was killed in the fighting at El-Hilif on Thursday, but Marajan flatly denied army claims that 30 rebels died.

According to the army, SLA-Unity "attacked" a humanitarian convoy in south Darfur on November 13.

Two days later, they lured army brass to an undisclosed location on the pretence of wanting talks, then killed an officer in an ambush.

On November 16, rebels attacked police in south Darfur, killing an officer and a policeman, and leaving eight policemen missing, Aghbash said. He said the army would continue to hunt down criminals, thieves and kidnappers and accused rebels of staging the attacks in order to provoke the army into a reaction. On Sunday, the army and a senior policy official in the main ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum drew a sharp distinction between a truce in attacks on rebels and an ongoing campaign to flush out "bandits". The government insists that acts of self-defence do not compromise the eight-day ceasefire.
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Department of Public Information, News and Media Division, New York
http://www0.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sgsm11955.doc.htm

REPORTING CONFIRMATION OF AIR STRIKES LAST WEEK BY SUDANESE GOVERNMENT IN SOUTH

DARFUR, SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR RENEWED COMMITMENT TO IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) investigated reports of aerial attacks by the Government of the Sudan from 21 to 22 November in Abu Dangal, South Darfur, and confirmed visible effects of air strikes, including four craters created by bombing and the presence of unexploded ordnance on the ground.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call for all parties to use restraint and renew their commitment to an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.  The Secretary-General further expresses his disappointment that military activity by the Government continues in Darfur, particularly in light of the 12 November announcement of an immediate ceasefire by the Government.  

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