Monday, October 03, 2005

No evidence Sudanese gov't involved in Darfur's Aro Sharow camp attack: HCR official

Here is a surprise. The UNs' High Commissioner for refugees said Sunday it found no evidence of Sudanese government involvement in an attack on a camp in West Darfur last Wednesday.

According to AFP report Oct 2, Laurens Jolles, head of mission for the UN refugee agency in Darfur, said 34 men had been killed in raids carried out by 250 to 300 Arabs against the Aro Sharow camp for displaced people in West Darfur last Wednesday and is quoted as saying:
"What is certain on the basis of testimonies obtained on the ground is that there was no direct government implication."
[Note, it is puzzling why Mr Jollens seems so sure. If he is so certain, why were the perpetrators not identified?]

Sudanese army denies attacks on Darfur civilians

AFP report Oct 3 says the Sudanese army strongly denied involvement in the attacks in Darfur last Wednesday:
"The information that Baba Gana Kingibe, the special representative of the chairman of the AU commission, provided was absolutely incorrect," the army said in a statement.
[Note, in the past, it has been said that as far as Sudanese forces are concerned, civilians are all part of the same uprising. Who else has access to military vehicles and helicopter gunships? Who knows if Sudanese forces know what some of its ranks get up to. Reportedly, Janjaweed have been incorporated into Sudanese forces]

The AFP report goes on to say:
Kingibe had accused the government and its notorious proxy Janjaweed Arab militias of carrying out "coordinated offensive operations" in Darfur and using aircraft in the operations.

"We do not have aircrafts in West Darfur. Our aircrafts are in Al-Fasher (North Darfur) and Nyala (South Darfur) and they are being monitored by the AU," the army said.

It admitted that government forces clashed with rebels near Tawila camp for displaced persons in North Darfur after the rebels commandeered a truck delivering water to police guarding the camp.

But the statement denied the army was responsible for the displacement of hundreds of people in the area.

The army also claimed Kingibe relied on aid agencies for his information and accused him of being "partial and incompetent to carry out the mission."
African Union's emergency meeting postponed

The African Union is to hold an emergency meeting in Addis Ababa on Wednesday to consider action. The meeting was set for Monday but AU spokesman in Sudan Nureddin Mezni said it had been postponed.

Khartoum to investigate Chadian village attack

One can't help wondering if the Sudanese army are separate from Khartoum's own army of militia which have their own command structure. Unusually, not a lot of news reports are to be found on Sudan's response to the latest attacks. A few reports quote Khartoum as saying:
"The statement issued by AMIS here yesterday will not help in solving the Darfur problem," said Deputy Foreign Minister Mutref Siddeik. Mutref Siddeik said his government "will conduct an investigation into a report saying that armed men coming from Sudan attacked a Chadian village and that the Chadian army confronted them." ...

... Sudan criticized the African Union on Sunday for its accusations the day before that government forces had attacked civilians in Darfur. But in his comments to reporters, Matref Sideiq, a deputy at the Foreign Ministry, stopped short of denying the accusations. "The media is not the right place to talk about the Darfur issue or how to solve it. There are joint committees and a mechanism for it," Sideiq said. "Issuing such a statement (by the African Union) will not help solve the problem."
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Chad closes its consulate in Darfur and Sudanese consulate in Abeche

Full report (ST) Oct 3 2005.


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