August 16, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Tuesday has denied the arrest of Darfuris who had met the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan during a recent visit to Darfur region.
- Ibrahim Ghandour (Photo Suna)
Last Friday, U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the arrest of 15 people including a local employee of Darfur hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID), after a meeting with Ambassador Donald Booth who visited North and Central Darfur states from 26 to 28 July.
The arrested local leaders and representatives of displaced persons reportedly briefed the American diplomat about the atrocities committed by the Sudanese government militiamen during their attacks on rebel positions in Jebel Marra earlier this year.
In statements to the official news agency SUNA on Tuesday, Ghandour said they had been informed about the alleged detention by the Special Envoy Booth after his return from Darfur. He added that they approached the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) which denied the claim.
"This is the official answer that we received, and the Envoy is aware of this answer,” Ghandour said. However he was quick to add “May be, there is someone arrested by the local authorities."
“But certainly there are some circles that try to sabotage those efforts (to improve bilateral relations) after the visit of the Envoy who got firsthand information on the situation in Darfur personally”.
"The government has nothing to hide, Otherwise it would not have coordinated the visit, and would not have supported the Envoy’s travel to Jebel Marra under these circumstances," he stressed.
Reports by rights activists say the government militiamen of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have committed war crimes and atrocities on the civilian population during their attacks in the mountainous area of Jebel Marra particularly in that part of Central Darfur .
UN agencies estimate that 130,000 people have been displaced by the clashes which occurred between January and April of this year, 2016, between the government forces and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement - Abel-Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW).