Situation in Darfur worsened for second half of 2007

5 Dec

According to a Reuters article dated December 4th, “Sudan forces killed 100s of civilians in Darfur: U.N.”, a report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council has urged the “Khartoum government to protect civilians in Darfur and investigate all crimes.”

UN predicted that from June 20 to mid-November 2007, the Sudanese forces and affiliated milita made at least 15 attacks on civilian areas in all three Darfur states. Reuters also estimated that “at least 300 people were killed in about 20 land and air attacks documented by the U.N. in the past six months.”

The UN Special Envoy for Darfur, Jan Eliasson has also “expressed concern over the security and humanitarian situation in the Sudanese region, where violence displaced at least 30,000 civilians in October alone. The international NGO, International Crisis Group (ICG) has also warned about an Arab insurgency in its “Darfur ‘s New Security Reality” report. The report accuses,

“Rebel DPA signatories, particularly the Sudan Liberation Army faction of Minni Minawi (SLA/MM), … responsible for attacks on civilians, humanitarians, the AU mission (AMIS) and some of the violence in the internally displaced person (IDP) camps… Many have boycotted the talks and increased military action…

… The IDP camps are increasingly violent, with residents manipulated by all sides while Khartoum also tries to force them to return to unsafe areas. Inter-Arab dissension has added new volatility to the situation on the ground…

Optimism for the situation in the conflict area remains grim. U.N. peacekeeping chief, Jean-Marie Guehenno lamented to the Security Council that the Sudanese government has been unwilling to facilitate “practical preparations” for the UN African troops. The Undersecretary General also accused Sudan of refusing to sign approval for the composition of the force proposed by the UN and AU – a Thai infantry battalion, a Nepalese special forces unit and a Swedish-Norwegian-Danish engineering unit.; its failure to give the force permission to fly at night; to provide land for the force in several key towns; and to authorize the deployment of six helicopters to El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur; which contributed to impediments for peace keeping.

Former US President, Jimmy Carter, in a group, The Elders, has called for an immediate cease-fire in Darfur and urged the Sudanese government to remove barriers for UN- African troops deployment for peacekeeping.

The conflict which started at 2003 is estimated to have led to 200,000 deaths and 2.2 million displacement.

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