8 March 2014

Sudan: Govt Accuses U.S of Double Stands On South Darfur Violence

Khartoum — The Sudanese foreign ministry accused the international community of adopting double standards on the recent violence in South Darfur, saying some western governments remained mum on rebel attacks and their continued efforts to hamper efforts to achieve peace.

The ministry was reacting to a statement released by the United States State Department on Saturday in which Washington strongly condemned attacks on civilians in South Darfur and called on the Sudanese government "to prevent further violence and to cease its own campaign of aerial bombardments".

The State Department further urged Khartoum to allow UNAMID peacekeepers access to the areas where the violence occurred, and renewed its call for the government and rebel groups "to begin an inclusive and comprehensive political dialogue to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflicts in Sudan".

UN humanitarian office in Khartoum said in its weekly bulletin that between 30,000 to 40,000 people fled their homes in South Darfur during the last week of February as a result of clashes between the Sudan Liberation Army - Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).

The head of Darfur Regional Authority Tijani Al-Sissi said two days ago that the army did not play its role to repel attacks by rebel groups. He added that some uncontrolled elements took advantage of the intervention of the militia to attack villagers in the South Darfur areas.

The foreign ministry in a statement on Saturday evening said the rebel SLM-MM launched the attacks in the region aiming to undermine the peace talks with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) to end the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, pointing that the Darfurian group had accused the rebels in the Two Areas of betraying their alliance.

The statement also said the Sudanese government approved the efforts undertaken by the Chadian president Idriss Deby to persuade the rebel groups to join the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

The Ministry further calls on "some Western governments and organizations that rushed to condemn the Sudanese government to show for once impartiality, objectivity and fairness, and to condemn these outrageous attacks, to take practical steps that would push these movements to accept peace (...)," read the statement.

On a related development, the SLM-MM claimed in a statement released on Saturday that its fighters captured two new areas in North Darfur state.

"On Friday 7 February, our forces managed to liberate Koria Labn and Osman Dima areas," said a short statement released by SLA-MM military spokesperson Adam Saleh Abakar extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

Abakar further said they destroyed one military vehicle seized three others.

From the North Darfur capital Al-Fasher, the governor Osman Kibir echoed the statement of the foreign ministry saying that "the international community not only stands idly by when rebels commit crimes but encourage them by raising a stick against the government".

He further denied rumours that Al-Fasher is threatened by a rebel attack, reaffirming that the army can deter rebel attacks and reestablish security in the state.

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