AU Backs Sudan on Darfur Force

Amid mounting international pressures on Khartoum to allow UN peacekeepers in its troubled Darfur region, the African Union reaffirmed support to the Sudanese position, reported the state-run SUNA news agency.

AU Backs Sudan on Darfur Force
Amid mounting international pressures on Khartoum to allow UN peacekeepers in its troubled Darfur region, the African Union reaffirmed support to the Sudanese position, reported the state-run SUNA news agency.

"Peacekeepers in Darfur would be African with an African command and the UN's participation would be limited to the fields of administration, funding, as well as technical and logistical support," Alpha Oumar Konare, AU Commission Chairman, told reporters in Khartoum Saturday, April 7.

He underlined the necessity of implementing what was agreed upon in this regard so as to guarantee UN support for the AU troops so that peace could be achieved in Darfur.

Konare, who held talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir over Darfur, called on the international community to offer the necessary support for the AU troops.

Sudan supports non-military support from the UN for the African peacekeeping force in its war-torn Darfur region.

Khartoum is especially opposed to a UN Security Council resolution that authorized, without its approval, a 20,000-strong peacekeeping force for Darfur.

A meeting will be held in Addis Ababa on Monday, April 9, bringing together representatives from Sudan, the AU and the UN to discuss the number of AU troops and the types of weapons required to these troops.

Konare, who was accompanied by AU security chief Said Djinnit, said that the AU would play a major role in the coming period to push more rebel groups to subscribe to the Darfur agreement.

Despite the signing of a peace deal last year with one of the rebel groups, violence in the region has continued unabated.

The UN estimates that some 200,000 people were killed and 2 million others driven from their homes since 2003, when Darfur rebels took up arms against the government accusing it of neglect.

Darfur Probe

In a related development, the Khartoum government said it was ready to probe accusations that its soldiers raped women and committed war crimes during attacks late last year in war-torn Darfur.

"This is a presumption, even with regard to this presumption we are ready to investigate whatever complaints are made in this regard," Justice Minister Ali al Mardhi told a press conference in Nairobi Saturday.

He said the government had set up an administration to combat violence against women and that it had sufficient prosecutors and policewomen and staff.

On Friday, April 6, UN humanitarian chief Louise Arbour urged Sudan to investigate the cases, which include charges of at least 15 rapes carried out during attacks in December on villages which supported the Darfur rebels.

Some of the victims were as young as 13 years old and two women were pregnant.

Some were raped on the spot while others were taken away, raped and then released, according to one report by Arbour's monitors in Sudan.

A six-person team, led by Nobel peace laureate and anti-landmines campaigner Jody Williams, accused Khartoum on Monday, March 12, of orchestrating crimes and human rights abuses in the western region.

Sudan denies responsibility for abuses and blames them on rebel groups which refused a 2006 peace deal.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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