Home | News    Saturday 29 July 2006

Sudan’s Bashir reiterates Darfur would be UN troops ’graveyard’

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July 28, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese President Omer al- Bashir warned yesterday that Darfur would become a "graveyard" for United Nations forces if they were deployed in the west Sudan region, the state-run SUNA news agency said.

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Omar al-Beshir

"We shall never hand Darfur over to international forces which will never enjoy being in the region that will become their graveyard," Bashir was quoted as telling a rally at Zeribah in North Kordofan, central Sudan.

"If they really want to protect the people of Darfur, what are they doing about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and Palestine and the killing of women, children and innocents there?"

Bashir warned advocates within the country of the proposed deployment of UN forces in Darfur that they would not be spared by those forces.

"When they enter Darfur, those forces will not differentiate between the president and those leaders who call for this (the deployment)," he said without elaborating.

Bashir cited Iraq, where despite the presence of foreign forces there is "destruction, damage and sedition between the Sunnis and Shiites instigated by Western intelligence, in addition to the torture and killing of inmates in Abu Ghraib and other prisons."

Decades of ethnic tensions in Darfur erupted in 2003 when ethnic minorities took up arms against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum to fight for autonomy and a greater share of the region’s resources.

The government responded by unleashing its feared and mainly Arab proxy Janjaweed militia in a scorched-earth policy against minority villages suspected of supporting the rebels. Some 300,000 people-overwhelmingly civilians-have been killed and 2.4m more have fled their homes.

A Darfur rebel group that refused to sign a peace deal for western Sudan in May accused the government yesterday of unleashing the Janjaweed in a bid to eradicate rebel holdouts.

"The Khartoum regime has begun implementing a military project that aims at an all-out assault on the parties which did not sign the farcical Abuja ?agreement’," Justice and Equality Movement spokesman Ahmed Hussein Adam said.

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