Home | News    Thursday 17 March 2005

Darfur security worsened in past week-AU envoy


By Opheera McDoom

KHARTOUM, March 17 (Reuters) - Security in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region has deteriorated in the past week and political talks must resume as soon as possible, the African Union’s top envoy in Sudan said on Thursday.

The village of Tundubai in Sudan’s Darfur region, presumed to have been burnt down by the marauding Janjaweed Arab militias, is seen in 2004. (AFP).

After a week-long mission to the region where AU forces are monitoring a shaky ceasefire, Baba Gana Kingibe said he was disappointed at a new outbreak of fighting in West Darfur.

He said threats by Arab militias, known locally as Janjaweed, against U.N. workers in Darfur were very serious.

"Unfortunately in the last one week the situation has deteriorated," he told reporters at the airport in Khartoum. He mentioned tensions in rebel-held Muhajiriyah in South Darfur and clashes in West Darfur’s Jabel Moun area.

Kingibe added security could further deteriorate if peace talks did not resume. "We are engaging the Sudanese parties and are urging the early resumption of the peace process," the former Nigerian foreign minister said.

Kingibe also said Darfuris may face serious food shortages, especially if the upcoming rainy season was as poor as the previous year.

"There was a two-month food security gap before. Our estimates now...are giving us a four-month food security gap," he said. "If the rains fail there will be a serious humanitarian situation."

Tens of thousands have been killed in the two-year-old rebellion in Darfur, with thousands dying every month in miserable camps which house the almost 2 million people who have fled their homes in the arid western region the size of France.

The U.N.’s World Food Programme said in a statement it was alarmed at signs of serious food shortages throughout Sudan with poor rains last year across the country.

It said 5.5 million people needed food assistance in Sudan at the moment. "If the numbers continue to rise, Sudan will face a new catastrophe unless more food gets here fast," the WFP country head Ramiro Lopes da Silva said.


Kingibe said he was very concerned by Janjaweed threats against foreign workers in West Darfur. "It’s very, very serious. The Janjaweed are clearly lawless elements...report after report shows they are the major impediment to peace in Darfur."

The top U.N. envoy in Sudan, Jan Pronk, said on Wednesday that 44 U.N. and aid agency staff had been relocated to a regional capital from camps in West Darfur state after Janjaweed threatened to target foreigners and humanitarian convoys.

Darfur rebels took up arms in early 2003 saying the government discriminates against non-Arab tribes in Darfur. The United Nations says Khartoum armed the Janjaweed to fight the two rebel groups, a charge the government denies.

The militias now stand accused of widespread rape, looting, killing and burning in non-Arab villages.

Kingibe said fighting had broken out between a third rebel splinter group and government forces in the rebel National Movement for Reform and Development (NMRD) stronghold in Jabel Moun.

The NMRD signed a ceasefire with the government in December, but said on Wednesday they were abandoning the truce in the face of government attacks on their positions. Kingibe asked Chad, which mediated the ceasefire, to intervene to stop the clashes.

He said the main AU-sponsored peace talks with the two main Darfur rebel groups would restart soon. Several rounds of talks collapsed last year in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

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 Constitutional Declaration was reduced to absurdity 2019-08-13 20:31:25 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman After paying tributes to the martyrs and hoping healing for wounded and offer sincere greetings to the rebellious Sudanese people who are inevitably victorious, having (...)

Options and opportunities for SPLM-N al-Hilu to join Sudan’s transition 2019-08-13 20:06:06 By Ibrahim B. Musa Despite the initial signing of the political on July, 17th, 2019 and constitutional declaration on August 4th, 2019, as well as the previous exhausting efforts made in (...)

Can Sudan achieve peace and democratic transition? 2019-08-13 07:37:28 By Rosalind Marsden Sudan has a unique opportunity to embrace democratic transition but there is no room for complacency. Comprehensive reforms and a united democratic front will be key to (...)


Latest Press Releases

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)

Joseph Malwal Dong joined the SPLM/A -IO 2019-04-02 08:35:02 SPLM/A (IO) Press Release 1/4/2019 On Hon. Joseph Malwal Dong Joined the SPLM/A (IO) The leadership of the SPLM/A (IO) would like to seize this precious opportunity to announce to members and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.