News and Information

Sudan: AU Security Council Holds Emergency Session On Darfur
October 4, 2005

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

October 4, 2005
Posted to the web October 4, 2005


The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) was meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening security situation in Sudan's western region of Darfur where rampant ceasefire violations have resulted in dozens of deaths and further displacement.

The emergency session of the council followed a scathing criticism by the head of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), Baba Gana Kingibe, of both the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) for perpetrating recent incidents of violence.

Kingibe was especially critical of the government for its "violent, destructive and overwhelming use of force not only against the rebel forces, but also on innocent civilian villages and the IDP [internally displaced persons) camps".

He told a news conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Saturday that government forces were responsible for "coordinated offensive operations" which they carried out along with their alleged allies, the Janjawid militia.

"On 18 September 2005, simultaneous attacks at Khartoum Djadeed, Sandego, Khasantongur, Tary, Martal and Djabain resulted in the death of 12 civilians, five seriously wounded, and the displacement of about 4,000 civilians.

"Heavy and small weapons mounted on vehicles were reportedly used by GOS [Government of Sudan] in close coordination with about 300 Janjawid Arab militia. Most of the displaced people moved to Zamzam and Tawilla IDP camps," he said.

Kingibe said some 400 Janjawid fighters on camels and horse back had gone on the rampage, attacking the villages of Arusharo, Acho and Gozmena in West Darfur on 28 September.

"Our reports also indicate that the previous day, and indeed on the actual day of the attack, GOS helicopter gunships were observed overhead. This apparent coordinated land and air assault gives credence to the repeated claim by the rebel movements of collusion between the GOS forces and the Janjawid/Arab militia," he said.

He added: "This incident, which was confirmed not only by our investigators but also by workers of humanitarian agencies and NGOs in the area, took a heavy toll resulting in 32 people killed, four injured and seven missing, and about 80 houses/shelters looted and set ablaze.

The conflict in Darfur pits Sudanese government troops and allied militias like the Janjawid against two main rebel groups, the SLM/A and the Justice and Equality Movement, which claim to be fighting the marginalisation of their region by the Khartoum-based government.
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According to the UN, at least 2.9 million people continue to be affected by the conflict, of whom 1.85 million are internally displaced or have fled to neighbouring Chad.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]


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