Sunday, December 31, 2006

AU Statement: GoS Antonov bombed Anka and Um Rai, in N Darfur

Text of African Union Statement (via ST 31 Dec 2006):

At Approximately 15.00 hours yesterday, Friday 29 December 2006, the Chairman of the Ceasefire Commission, Major General Luke Aprez,i was informed that Gos Antonov was bombing two locations, Anka and Um Rai, in North Darfur.

These localities are the places where he held a meeting with the SLA-NSF Commanders on Wednesday and obtained their commitment to a Ceasefire.

This attack by GoS is a seriously disturbing development, especially given that the GoS Representatives at the level of Darfur and Khartoum gave their consent to this meeting, and assured AMIS Leadership, not to attack unless attacked. It also has the potential to derail the current efforts to broaden the support base for the DPA process and make it more inclusive.

Consequently, the Chairman of the CFC calls on the GoS to desist from further bombardment as not to scuttle the fragile ceasefire.

Khartoum, December 30, 2006
Note the report does not clarify whether Sudanese forces were provoked to attack. As I recall, somewhere here in the archives of Sudan Watch are news reports over past two years quoting GoS promise not to fly its bombers over Darfur. [Update: I've found a link - On February 5, 2005 the Sudanese government said it would remove all its Antonov planes and would not use them at all in Darfur, where it had been accused of using the aircraft to bomb villages.

Air bombing of Darfur

Also note Aug 1 2006 UN News Centre - SAF Antonov bombing of Hassan village, Kulkul, N Darfur: Ceasefire Commission probing violation of Security Council Resolution 1591 (2005)

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