Home | News    Saturday 25 November 2006

Army attack against Darfur civilians was unprovoked - UN

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

Nov 24, 2006 (GENEVA) — An assault on the Darfur town of Sirba was apparently "a deliberate and unprovoked attack" by Sudanese government forces against innocent civilians, a United Nations human rights official said Friday.

JPEG - 10.7 kb
An aerial view of the destroyed Seraf village, in west Darfur along the Sudan and Chad border, April 22, 2005. (Reuters).

"Hundreds of armed men, many in military uniforms and some in civilian clothes, on horses, camels and in several trucks and Toyota Land Cruisers, attacked the civilian population," said Praveen Randhawa, a spokeswoman for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour.

The African Union had said previously that the Nov. 11 attack, in which at least 30 people were killed and 40 wounded, was a raid on a refugee camp and neighboring villages by janjaweed militiamen. Randhawa said the attack resulted in 11 civilian deaths.

The military claimed 13 rebels were killed and that eight weapons were recovered, she said.

Randhawa said government officials in West Darfur confirmed that the military used force, but that it was in response to a rebel ambush on a military convoy.

"However, no evidence has been found to support this claim, and numerous witness accounts indicate that civilians and their homes and properties were the target of attack," she told reporters at the U.N. in Geneva. "Contrary to the government’s claim, it appears that SAF (the Sudanese Armed Forces) launched a deliberate and unprovoked attack on civilians and their property in Sirba."

Randhawa added that "extensive and wanton destruction and looting of civilian property" took place during the attack.

The government denied militia were involved, but witnesses described the attackers as members of the Sudan Armed Forces and the janjaweed, she said.

Sirba is located in north Darfur, close to the border with Chad.

Randhawa said the deaths include a teenage boy and a woman who were burnt to death in a house set afire by attackers. She said eight civilians, including a 3-year-old girl, were wounded by gunfire.

Her comments support what appears to be a new strategy by the U.N.’s Geneva-based human rights department to quickly report details of atrocities as they occur, perhaps in response to Khartoum’s expulsion last month of chief U.N. envoy Jan Pronk.

The envoy was ordered to leave the country after he said on his personal Web site that government forces had suffered defeats in Darfur and were deploying militia and troops to the western region in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Earlier this month, Arbour’s office released a report that said hundreds of men identified by residents as janjaweed had killed about 50 civilians in attacks on western Darfur villages.

The government has always denied backing the janjaweed. But U.N. investigators have found that the government armed the janjaweed, and members of the militia have acknowledged receiving state support.

More than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million others displaced since the conflict began in February 2003, when Darfur’s ethnic African tribesmen took up arms against what they saw as decades of neglect and discrimination by the Arab government in Khartoum.

A peace agreement signed by the government and one rebel group in May has been ignored, and the violence has escalated in recent months. The accord committed the government to disarming the janjaweed.

On Wednesday, U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said the "dramatic deterioration" of the situation in Darfur has left four million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

Egeland, warning that the country could face a major humanitarian disaster within weeks unless there was a true cease-fire and a renewed effort to reach a lasting peace, said government forces, militias, rebel groups and an increasing number of opposition groups from neighboring Chad are roaming freely inside and outside refugee camps, spreading fear and terror.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for a force of 7,000 soldiers and 3,000 police officers to help provide security in Darfur. The African Union currently has 7,000 peacekeepers in the region, which is the size of France.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has vehemently opposed the transfer of peacekeeping in Darfur from the AU to the United Nations. Annan said Wednesday he expected an answer from al-Bashir shortly on the details of an agreement reached last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that could open the door to the deployment of thousands of U.N. troops in Darfur as part of a combined U.N.-African Union force.

(AP)

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


Sudan’s uprising is putting the future of al-Bashir’s rule at stake 2019-01-18 01:30:38 By Adil Babikir The buzzword in Sudan these days is tasgut bass. The catchphrase, which translates into “you must go, no matter what”, is echoing in demonstrations across the country calling on (...)

Al-Bashir’s pickaxe underlies economic downfall in Sudan 2019-01-07 19:49:21 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman The destructive pickaxe of Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir and his Corrupt Entourage for the three decades are responsible for the Economic Downfall in Sudan and Not due to (...)

The Sudanese Tsunami 2019-01-07 08:01:14 The Only Way Forward is for Bashir to Step Down and a New Interim Democratic Arrangement Put in Place By Yasir Arman On Sunday, 6th of January, Sudan has witnessed one of the biggest (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Ethnic Murle politicians say enough to cattle raiding 2018-12-28 09:32:00 December 27, 2018 (JUBA) - Murle political leaders in Buma state have vowed to end the practice of cattle raiding and child abduction by individuals in the community. Jodi Jonglei, who is also (...)

CEPO: South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA): Stop politics of split and focus on R-ARCSS implementation 2018-12-26 09:53:29 26th December, 2018. South Sudan Opposition Alliance internal leadership change frication is disturbing and demoralizing public opinion. The big question CEPO is raising, will SSOA be a strong (...)

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) (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.