Home | News    Monday 25 September 2006

Sudan’s Bashir accuses US of meddling in Darfur


Sept 25, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan’s president lashed out at the U.S. on Sunday, saying Washington’s plans to create a "new Middle East" were behind an international push to replace African Union peacekeepers with U.N. forces in war-ravaged Darfur.

JPEG - 11.2 kb
Members of the Sudanese Popular Defence Forces, hold knifes and guns while another carries a banner with Arabic writing reading ’Death to America’ during a demonstration, in Kartoum, Sudan, Wednesday, March 8, 2006. (AP)

President Omar al-Bashir has always opposed United Nations intervention in Sudan’s remote Darfur region, but he escalated his anti-Western rhetoric Sunday, targeting America in an appeal to muster domestic support for what he implied would be a lengthy face-off.

In a speech to cabinet ministers and journalists gathered in Khartoum, he said the United States and Britain wanted to recraft the region in Israel’s interests.

"They want to use the Darfur issue to re-colonize Sudan," al-Bashir said defiantly.

The Sudanese leader, just back from an overseas trip to gather support from nonaligned nations and attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York, said Sudanese officials were unfairly scrutinized by U.S. Homeland Security during the visit.

In response, no American official in Sudan would be allowed to travel more than 25 kilometers away from the presidential palace in Khartoum without a special permit, al-Bashir said.

"The measure is effective as of Monday," he said.

The fact that the U.S. wasn’t sanctioned for invading Iraq "in breach of every international treaty," nor Israel for "killing thousands of women and children in Lebanon," proves the U.N. is biased, al-Bashir said.

At least 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million chased from their homes in Darfur, an arid remote region of western Sudan where the government-backed Arab Janjaweed militia are blamed for what international observers have called a genocide against ethnic African villagers.

But al-Bashir said the humanitarian crisis there had been overblown by the Western media.

"I challenge any precise statistic that shows the fighting killed more than 10,000 people in Darfur," he said, adding that others may have died from famine.

Al-Bashir again voiced his "total rejection" of the Aug. 31 U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for 20,000 U.N.-commanded soldiers to take over peacekeeping in Darfur.

"The resolution would in effect put Sudan under an international mandate," al-Bashir said. "It negates every institution of the Sudanese state."

Instead, he praised the African Union’s extension of its peacekeeping mission in Darfur as "a major victory." The underfunded and ill-equipped AU mission was scheduled to end Sept. 30, but has been extended until at least the end of the year.

African Union officials in Khartoum said Sunday that the AU would send more peacekeeping troops to Darfur region and toughen the soldiers’ role in protecting civilians until the U.N. reaches a compromise with the Sudanese government.

"We are being asked to assume a broader and broader mission, but we need the means to do so," Monique Mukaruliza, acting head of the AU mission in Sudan, told The Associated Press.

AU leaders are finalizing plans to add 1,200 soldiers to the existing 7,000-strong force, officials said. Even more soldiers could come if NATO provided adequate logistics support and the Arab League and other international donors provided funding, the officials said.

Officials said AU peacekeepers would soon have new rules of engagement, under which they would not only monitor violence and investigate incidents, but also actively interfere to prevent attacks on civilians by the multiple rebel groups and pro-government militias that plague the region.

The AU’s spokesman in Sudan, Nouredinne Mezni, said the new rules would enable peacekeepers to better implement the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in May between Sudan and the main rebel group there.

"With our current resources, we don’t really have the means to fully implement the peace agreement," Mezni said.

Jan Pronk, the head of the U.N. in Sudan, said last week that the accord was "in a coma," and international aid groups say violence has only worsened since it was signed.

Infighting among splinter rebel factions is a major cause of the violence, along with a new offensive by the Sudanese military against rebels who refuse to join the peace deal. Khartoum is accused of bombing villages where these groups hide, in effect causing more civilian casualties.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has strongly condemned the escalation, warning that Khartoum was at risk of "disgrace" in Africa for refusing a U.N. peacekeeping force.

Some 100,000 more people have been displaced since the intended cease-fire in May, the U.N. says.

At least a quarter of all people in northern Darfur are now suffering from malnutrition, the U.N. has said. More than 350,000 are largely cut off from food aid and medical care because fighting makes the north too dangerous for aid agencies, U.N. officials say.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

The AUHIP needs to revisit its modus operandi 2018-12-15 19:00:42 By Gibril Ibrahim The latest round of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP)’s consultations with Sudanese parties in Addis Ababa (December 9 -13) ended in failure for reasons (...)

The influence of facetious leaders in South Sudan 2018-12-03 18:44:28 By Daniel Abushery Daniel It's like that old saying, "Everybody's talking about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it:" Public consultation is essential and healthy where there are (...)

Will Khartoum peace agreement bring reform or maintain tyranny? 2018-12-01 05:41:01 By Duop Chak Wuol Known for operating with a vicious precision, his trademark is ruthlessness, and how he manoeuvres his political rivals is irrefutably effective. Salva Kiir, the man in (...)


Latest Press Releases

Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)

4th Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum Announced for 25th October 2018 2018-10-15 12:38:14 PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 14, 2018 Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced October 25, 2018, as the date for its (...)

Unity State community in Kenya supports Khartoum peace agreement 2018-08-17 08:33:21 PRESS STATMENT 14th Aug, 2018 Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of (...)


Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.