Thursday, July 06, 2006

JEM/NRF attack Hamrat Al Sheik, Kordofan - Snr Sudanese govt officials met delegation of JEM faction who'd signed Declaration of Commitment to DPA

Excerpt from UN Country Team in Sudan report (from Unified Mission Analysis Centre (UMAC), UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), Khartoum, Sudan, 5 July 2006 - via ReliefWeb):
On 4 July, senior Government figures met with a delegation of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) group who had signed the Declaration of Commitment to the DPA on 8 June. The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Atim Garang, heads of some Assembly Committees and Al-Rashid Abdulla of JEM attended the meeting.

On 4 July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sudan released a statement condemning an attack on Hamarat Al-Sheikh in North Kordofan on 3 July by Darfur rebel factions. The attack is thought to be the first military action of the National Redemption Front (NRF) which formed on 30 June (Sit Rep 30 June and 1 July). The Foreign Ministry statement called the attack 'an act of sabotage on the DPA' and noted that Sudan had lodged official complaints with the UN Security Council. It also said that Government of Sudan protested the Eritrean Government’s hosting of the NRF.

On 3 July, elements of the NRF claimed full responsibility for an attack on Hamrat Al Sheikh (about 350 km west of Khartoum and 210 km northeast of El Fasher). National Security (NS) confirmed that gunships around the area were dispatched to Hamrat Al Sheik to assist ground forces sent from El Obeid. Government air strikes were not carried out because the rebels allegedly used residents as human shields. As of 5 July, three gunships were observed at El Obeid Airport. The rebel group was well equipped with about 10-20 land cruisers mounted with machine guns. The rebel group completely destroyed the NS Office and the Police Station. Unconfirmed reports suggest 12 people were killed. On 4 July, Government Forces stated that they regained total control of Hamrat Al Sheik but is yet to be confirmed by UNMIS. On 5 July, the Minister of Defense was in Elobeid where he met the Wali and other Military Officials to discuss the matter.Comment: No UNMIS staff are in the area and staff will not be allowed access until the area has been assessed by FSO.
July 5 2006 JEM/NRF attack on Kordofan kills 12: JEM's Ahmed Hussein phoned Al-Jazeera TV from London - Why are JEM/NRF permitted in England?

July 5 2006 Sudanese Embassy in Washington calls for UN and AU to impose sanctions on JEM/NFR leaders for attack on Hamrat AlSheikh, N Kordofan

July 5 2006 Sudan summons Eritrean envoy to ask why Eritrea hosts JEM/NRF rebel leadership based in Asmara, Eritrea

July 6 2006 Eritrea denies supporting Darfur rebel holdouts in Asmara waiting to meet Salva Kiir

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