May 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s permanent mission to the United Nations managed to abort attempts to issue a presidential statement from the UN Security Council (UNSC) condemning the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF), said diplomatic sources in the Sudanese capital.
- The United Nations Security Council (Reuters)
The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilised by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.
The militia was activated and restructured again in August last year under the command of the National Intelligence and security Services (NISS) 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.
The SRF is widely accused of committing acts of killings, looting, and burning of villages in South Kordofan and Blue Nile leading to displacement of thousands of civilians.
Last week, NISS announced that it is deploying additional RSF troops to South Kordofan in order to end rebellion in the state.
According to diplomatic sources, United States and the United Kingdom and their allies in the UNSC including France sought to issue a presidential statement holding the SRF responsible for burning of villages and armed robbery in Darfur and South Kordofan.
The same sources said that Sudan’s friends including Russia, China, Nigeria, and Chad demanded the presidential statement be balanced and called for changing it with another one demanding cancelling Sudan’s foreign debts, lifting US sanctions, and supporting the national dialogue initiative.
The diplomatic sources underscored that differences among UNSC member states led to cancellation of the presidential statement, saying the Sudanese mission made intensive contacts among friendly countries emphasising that SRF is a regular force aimed for rapid intervention to respond to attacks by the alliance of rebel groups.
In a separate issue, the same diplomatic sources pointed that joint efforts made by Sudan’s foreign ministry, Sudan’s permanent diplomatic mission to the UN, and the UN Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, managed to press South Sudan’s army to back away 10 kilometres south of Abyei area in accordance with the UNSC resolution.