Tag Archives: Sudan and Darfur

Sudan’s defence minister says Darfur rebels must join peace process or be crushed

Sudan Tribune
Sudan’s defence minister vows decisive summer for Darfur rebels

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April 11, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese defence minister, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, has called upon the rebel groups in Darfur to seek a negotiated peaceful solution, warning the summer campaign will bring rebellion in the restive region to an end.

Sudanese Defence Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein (File/Reuters)
Hussein, who addressed a public meeting with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in North Darfur capital Al-Fashir on Friday, said the government welcomes rebel groups who wish to join the peace process, adding the government made the necessary arrangements to end rebellion in the region.

“Rebels have to join peace before they be militarily crushed”, he said.

He further praised the RSF militias saying they set a good humanitarian example in dealing with hostages and citizens, pointing they provided services for the needy population in the region.

The director of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Mohamed Atta, for his part, disclosed they dispatched other RSF units to South Kordofan state to fight against the SPLM-N rebels and maintain security in the state.

The SRF militia, which operates under the command of NISS, is formed August last year to fight rebel groups in Darfur region, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.

SRF REBELS ACCUSE

Meanwhile the Sudanese rebel alliance, SRF, announced in a statement issued by its top military commander, Abdel-Aziz Al-Hilu, they obtained “certain information” that NISS is undertaking a plan in coordination with the military intelligence, the Popular Defence Forces (PDF), aiming to mobilise tribal militias to fight against its forces in Blue Nile, Nuba Mountain, North Kordofan, and Darfur.

He added that those militias, which include forces recruited from outside Sudan, will target civilians to displace them from rebel areas. But, the government will cover these attacks, describing it as tribal clashes.

The statement added this task was assigned to a force stationed in Al-Fayed village in Rashad district in the Nuba Mountains, pointing the force is commanded by Brig. Gen. Abdel-Samad Babiker, Lieu. Col. Mohamed Al-Fatih Ahmed, and Maj. Gen. Mohamed Al-Rabie’.

The force is also supported by a battalion of Mujahideen (holy fighters) from Khartoum and a battalion of the paramilitary PDF, according to the statement.

The rebels said the militias backed by aerial bombardment, shelled Toumi and Al-Mansour areas in South Kordofan and burned several villages including Toumi, Al-Mansoura, Tarawa, Kluro, Tendimen, Taglbo, Teri and other villages in order to force villagers to move to the government controlled areas.

Al-Hilu called upon rights groups and human rights activists to condemn the scorched land policy carried out by the government and expose regime’s repressive policies against defenceless citizens.

The commander of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, for his part, denied that his force committed war crimes or violated civilians’ rights in the region, accusing rebel groups of seeking to tarnish their image.

He said the RSF is innocent of these criminal practices, underscoring they arrested groups of outlaws who attacked civilians north of the town of Mellit while they were chasing remnants of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement/Minni Minnawi (SLM/MM) following an attack on the town last month.

The African Union and United Nations Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, had last March openly accused the RDF of attacking civilians.

He condemned in his address at Um Jaras peace forum the RSF attacks, saying they were the main cause of displacement of thousands of villagers.

The rebel SLM-MM carried out attacks in South and North Darfur states triggering reprisal attacks by government militias on villages suspected of support to the rebels. These attacks coincided with tribal clashes in the North Darfur state.

The violence displaced over 215,000 civilians in the state.

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http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article50612

Sudan – UN failed to stop killing of civilians in Darfur

BBC

Darfur violence: UN troops ‘failed to stop attacks’

Unamid peacekeepers in Fasher, the Sudanese region of Darfur (file image) The UN’s Darfur mission is one of the largest in the world

UN peacekeepers failed to protect civilians in Sudan’s Darfur region, even when they were shot in front of them, a former UN spokeswoman has said.

Aicha el Basri told the BBC UN chief Ban Ki-moon was part of a “conspiracy of silence” about the conflict.

She said she resigned last year because she “felt ashamed to be a spokesperson for a mission that lies”.

Responding, a UN official said the mission was doing a “brave” job and reported “faithfully on what we know”.

“Yes, there have been incidents, some of them dramatic, some of them shocking. Every one of them has been investigated to the best of our ability,” UN peacekeeping head Herve Ladsous told the BBC.

The UN has about 19,000 troops in Darfur, which has been hit by conflict since 2003.

‘Cynical farce’

In a BBC Focus on Africa interview, Ms Basri said she had decided to speak out after the UN ignored her appeals for an investigation into its operations in Darfur.

“In many circumstances, the civilians were shot in front of Unamid [the UN force in Darfur],” she said.

Refugee in Darfur More than one million people have been displaced
man herds cattle in Sudan Much of the conflict is over land and grazing rights

In one instance last September, peacekeepers “watched” the pro-government Janjaweed militia group carry out an assault on civilians travelling in a truck, but did not intervene, Ms Basri said.

Troops also took photographs of the assault, but “never reported it”, she added.

“The conspiracy of silence was much larger than Unamid. It extended all the way to Ban Ki-moon,” Ms Basri said.

Mr Ban had failed to mention in reports released about the conflict in Darfur that government forces had bombed villages 106 times in 2012, she added.

The UN Security Council was involved in a “cynical farce” and “pretending” that it was concerned about the conflict, Ms Basri said.

‘Difficult environment’

“The mission does not even have a helicopter to monitor an area that is as big as France,” she added.

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She said she resigned about a year ago after she issued a statement that was not true.

“I felt ashamed to be a spokesperson for a mission that lies, that can’t protect civilians, that can’t stop lying about it,” Ms Basri told Focus on Africa.

Mr Ladsous said the UN force was operating in a “very difficult environment” because of the large number of armed groups and bandits in Darfur.

Co-operation from the Sudanese government had also been “spotty”, Mr Ladsous said.

A strategic review had been carried out to tackle the problems the UN was facing in Darfur.

“Our duty is to respond frankly and faithfully on what we know has happened but in many cases we can’t identify with certainty who was responsible,” he added.

About two million people have been displaced by the fighting in Darfur since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government.

Last month, the UN said there had been an upsurge in violence, with about 50,000 people displaced since the end of February.

Much of the violence was between rival Arab groups, although rebel and government forces were also involved, correspondents say.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, accusing him of genocide in Darfur.

He denies the allegation and says the court is a tool of Western powers.

UN warns of upsurge of violence in Darfur

BBC
11 March 2014 Last updated at 11:10 Share this pageEmailPrint
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Darfur violence: UN warns of new Sudan clashes

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The UN has warned about an upsurge in violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, saying some 50,000 people had been displaced since the end of February.

Peacekeepers and aid agencies had been blocked from entering affected areas, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said.

Much of the violence is between rival Arab groups, although rebel and government forces are also involved, a BBC correspondent reports.

Darfur has been hit by conflict since 2003, when rebels took up arms.

Two million people have already been displaced by the conflict.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, accusing him of committing war crimes and genocide against black African communities in Darfur.

He denies the charge.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said was deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Darfur, and he urged all parties to immediately stop hostilities.

Ms Pillay said some 45 villages were reportedly targeted in the Um Gunya area, about 250km (155 miles) south of Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state.

“I urge the authorities to protect civilians and hold to account those who have committed grave breaches of human rights and humanitarian laws,” Ms Pillay said.

The joint UN and African Union (AU) peace force in Darfur, known as Unamid, and humanitarian agencies had been prevented from reaching areas affected by the attacks, she added.

“The Sudanese government must allow Unamid to fulfil its mandate to protect civilians, and grant access to populations in need,” Ms Pillay said.

In the past week, Unamid had also reported looting and destruction in Saraf Omra, near the border with Chad, says BBC Africa Security correspondent Moses Rono.

Thousands of people uprooted by the inter-communal fighting have sought refuge near a Unamid compound, he adds.

The leader of Arab militiamen accused of fuelling conflict in Darfur, Musa Hilal, recently quit the government and threatened war, adding a new dimension to the conflict, our correspondent says.

The black African rebels took up arms in 2003, accusing the Arab dominated government in Khartoum of ignoring them.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26526808

Sudan government rejects Darfur rebel call for common platform for talks

Sudan Tribune

(KHARTOUM) – Sudan has rejected Darfur rebel demand for a common political platform to negotiate the different crises in Sudan instead of the existing separate peace processes.

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Amin Hassan Omer (Photo SUNA)

Amin Hassan Omer, head of Darfur peace follow-up office, on Wednesday told the joint peace mediator, Mohamed Chambas, that his government refuses “any talk about creating new platforms”, stressing government’s commitment to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

Chambas was accompanied by the European Union special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Rosalind Marsden who attended the week consultations meeting organised with the rebel groups in Arusha, northern Tanzania.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan and Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) told the mediation and representatives of international community that “a holistic and comprehensive approach to resolving the problems facing the country is both necessary and urgent”.

The rebels therefore “stressed the need to harmonise and coordinate the existing mediation mechanisms in order to achieve a coherent and integrated approach”, said a statement on the outcome of Arusha consultations the mediation released on 27 August.

Omer, in statements to reporters following the meeting, spoke about the absence in any evolution in the position of the non signatory rebel groups towards the peace process in Darfur.

“The meeting was an opportunity for the joint chief mediator to know the views and ways of thinking of the rebel groups which did not witness any positive development to serve the goals of peace”, he said.

He further reiterated the government’s refusal to establish one platform for the conflicts in Darfur, Blue and South Kordofan as it is demanded by the rebel coalition Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) which includes rebel movements in Darfur and the SPLM-North.

The Sudanese official who chaired the government negotiating team to the Doha process pointed out that they welcome the participation of all the rebel groups in a comprehensive constitutional dialogue together with the other political forces.

Chambas has to meet with rebel groups within 60 days for consultations.

Arusha meeting was only attended by two groups. The SLM faction led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur refused to participate in the meeting, asking to invite all the SRF forces.

(ST)

Sudan – Darfur rebels say government militias killed UN peacekeepers

Sudan Tribune

July 18, 2013 (PARIS) – Minni Minnawi, leader of a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) accused the government’s militias in South Darfur of killing seven Tanzanian peacekeepers and urged an international investigation on the attack.

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Tanzania soldiers recover in the UNAMID hospital in Nyala from the injuries suffered in an ambush that occurred on Saturday 13 July in Khor Abeche, on 14 July 2013 (Photo by Albert González Farran, UNAMID)

In an interview with the Sudan Tribune from Geneva where he participated in dialogue on peaceful settlement of the ongoing conflicts in the country, Minnawi rejected the accusations made Sudanese government that his group was behind the attack.

“The attack on the UNAMID patrol was perpetrated by the Janjaweed militias that we can indentify, and we are willing to cooperate with an international investigation team in this regard”, he said on Wednesday.

He stressed they can cooperate with this team or the UNAMID and provide it with information can help to indentify the authors of the attack on the Tanzanian troops.

The rebel leader went to say that these militias are now without resource as the government has no more financial means to fund them. So, they “dare now to carry out attacks” on UNAMID patrols or commit violent crimes and looting individuals inside Nyala, capital of South Darfur state.

On 13 July, unidentified gunmen ambushed a patrol of the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) at 25 km west of the Mission’s site in Khor Abeche, which is at 75km from Nyala . Seven Tanzanian peacekeepers were killed and 17 others are injured.

The incident was largely condemned by the international community because it is one of the most severe attack on the hybrid mission. Khartoum was urged to swiftly investigate the attack and bring the culprits to justice.

However Minnawi said the government is not qualified to lead such investigation because it would seek to create a scapegoat to protect its armed groups that are involved in Darfur crimes and atrocities.

“We reject the participation of the government in this investigation because they will seek to hide evidence proving the Janjaweed’s involvement in this attack”, he said.

In a letter on 15 July to the American envoy who chairs the UN Security Council for July, the Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman reiterated the accusation against the rebel group and said this attack aims to obstruct the efforts of the international community to bring peace in Darfur.

He further reiterated the Sudanese government demand to alert them of the movement of UNAMID patrols in order to provide the necessary protection to the mission military or civilian personnel.

In a briefing at the UN headquarters on Thursday, U.S. alternate representative for special political affairs in the U.S. mission, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, confirmed that Sudanese ambassador did meet them.

Osman outlined the points in his letter of 15 July and ” indicated that they would investigate and try to bring the perpetrators to justice”; DeLaurentis said.

(ST)

Sudan – Khartoum fighting for control of Darfur gold

Sudan Tribune/allAfrica

Khartoum — A new report argues that the Sudanese government’s struggle for control of Darfur’s gold resources, rather than inter-tribal conflicts is behind the recent surge in violence in the war-torn western region.

The report, titled Darfur’s Gold Rush: State-Sponsored Atrocities 10 Years after the Genocide, has cast doubt on official rhetoric from Khartoum that tribal rivalries are to blame for rising instability.

It found that the Sudanese government is complicit in a violent power play for control of North Darfur’s lucrative gold mines, as part of its heightened economic interest in the region and an ongoing campaign of “state-sponsored atrocity”.

According to the report released earlier this month by the US-based Enough Project, Arab Abbala tribesmen are being armed by Khartoum as part of a bid to wrest control of gold fields in Jebel Amer from the Beni Hussein tribe, who are the traditional custodians of the area.

“While we do not have documented evidence that the government of Sudan ordered the Abbala offensive, it’s clear that the historically state-aligned tribe, with ties to the janjaweed, was not acting without at least tacit government consent”, researchers noted.

VIOLENCE ESCALATES:

The escalation of violence since January 2013 has plunged the region into the worst humanitarian crisis in recent years.

The UN estimates that some 150,000 people have been displaced following a spate of attacks by armed Abbala militias, elements of which include the notorious janjaweed forces, which hit the headlines 10 years ago for brutal atrocities allegedly committed at the behest of the Sudanese government.

The report argues that Khartoum has again reprised the role of Abbala militia as a “tool of state repression”, suggesting the government is employing the same “paralleling tactics” it used during the height of the conflict in 2003-04.

“For over a decade, the government of Sudan has pursued a strategy of economic plunder of the periphery through violence and forcible demographic change”, the report said.

A sedentary farming and cattle-rearing Arab community, the Beni Hussein have historically been exempted from attack by state-sponsored militias. However, the recent discovery of gold reserves in their home area, and intense economic pressure on the Sudanese government following South Sudan’s secession and the subsequent loss of oil revenues, has fundamentally altered that dynamic, the report said.  allAfrica

UN prepares to aid Darfur refugees in Chad

UN News Service

UN agency prepositions for Darfur refugees in Chad ahead of rainy season

A group refugees at Tissi, southeast Chad, who fled recent fighting in Darfur. Photo: MSF

17 May 2013 – With tens of thousands of Darfur refugees in eastern Chad, the United Nations refugee agency today said it is “in a race against time” to deliver aid before heavy rains cut off access to the group escaping violence linked to tribal conflicts.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has prepositioned enough aid in the area to cover the needs of 3,000 families and additional supplies are underway to cover the needs of another 4,000 from a regional stockpile in Douala, Cameroon, spokesperson Dan McNorton told journalists in Geneva.

Almost 30,000 people – mainly women and children – recently fled communal violence in North and West Darfur, Sudan, for Tissi, a remote and volatile area on the border between Darfur and the Central African Republic (CAR).

An average of 300 people continue to cross the border into Tissi every day, and more are on the way “but armed groups are preventing them from crossing,” the spokesperson said quoting comments from recent refugees.

“They say that they fled because people were killed during the violence and that many houses were torched by armed men,” Mr. McNorton said, adding that they urgently need shelter, food, water and medical assistance.

Roads to Tissi are impassable during the May to November rainy season, Mr. McNorton said, and the first downpours have already started.

“Due to the rains, we are in a race against time. Road transport between Doula and Tissi takes 20 days. To speed up the delivery of aid UNHCR plans to hire a helicopter,” Mr. McNorton said.

He noted that UNHCR relocated about 1,500 refugees from Tissi to Goz Amir, a camp about 250 kilometres north, and provided them with shelter, food and household items. Additional transfers were halted due to heavy rains.

The agency plan additional relocations once the rainy season is over and once safe water sources are located on sites identified by the Government for camps.

“We are working with our partners on rehabilitating some existing water pumps while we drill boreholes,” Mr. McNorton said, as an alternative to river water which can put refugees at risk for waterborne diseases.

Darfurian refugees began arriving in Tissi in early April due to tribal conflicts between Misseriya and Salamat tribes around the Um Dhukun area of West Darfur. In addition to the Darfur refugees, the violence also forced almost 20,000 Chadians to cross into Tissi, as well as 458 refugees from Central African Republic (CAR) who had been in Darfur for years. UN