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No evidence of Sudan govt involvement in attacks on civilians- HCR


Oct 2, 2005 (KHARTOUM) — A team from the United Nations’ High Commissioner for refugees (HCR) said it found no evidence of Sudanese government involvement in a deadly raid last week on a camp in western Darfur.

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Baba Gana Kingibe (R), African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) chief, speaks to reporters in Khartoum, Oct 1, 2005. (AFP).

Laurens Jolles, head of mission for the HCR in western Darfur, confirmed to AFP that 34 men had been killed during raids carried out by 250 to 300 Arabs against the Aro Sharow camp for displaced people last Wednesday.

"What is certain on the basis of testimonies obtained on the ground is that there was no direct government implication," he said.

African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) chief Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe had condemned the involvement of the Sudanese government in deadly raids during a press conference on Saturday.

On Sunday, the government lashed out at media reports on the raids and also criticized the African Union.

"The statement issued by AMIS here yesterday will not help in solving the Darfur problem," said Deputy Foreign Minister Mutref Sideiq.

The African Union is to hold an emergency meeting in Addis Ababa on Monday to consider measures on how to avoid further deterioration of the security situation.

The conflict also spilled over into neighbouring Chad last week, when 55 villagers were killed along with 17 militiamen and three Chadian soldiers in an attack near the border.

Mutref Sideiq 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."

Since Darfur rebels launched an uprising in western Sudan in February 2003, up to 300,000 civilians have been killed and around two million people driven from their homes.


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