First Published: 2012-11-07

 

HWR urges Khartoum to grant peacekeepers access to Darfur site

 

African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur says it tried to reach area to gather information but government forces stopped convoy.

 

Middle East Online

Increased restrictions raise concerns

KHARTOUM - Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged Sudanese authorities to grant peacekeepers quick access to a village where 13 civilians were killed, after the latest restrictions on movement of the Blue Helmets.

The deadly militia attack happened on Friday in Sigili village, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) southeast of the North Darfur state capital El Fasher, a local source who cannot be identified for security reasons earlier said. SUNA, the state's news agency, reported that 10 people were killed in a tribal clash.

The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said it tried to reach the area to gather information but government forces stopped the convoy.

US-based Human Rights Watch said authorities should allow UNAMID "prompt and full access" to the site.

"Sudan has repeatedly blocked UNAMID from visiting various locales in Darfur, seriously undermining the mission's ability to carry out its mandate to protect civilians and investigate human rights abuses," HRW said.

"The UN Security Council should demand answers from the Sudanese government," the watchdog's Africa director Daniel Bekele said in a statement.

He said the government must hold an impartial investigation into the killings to bring "real justice, not a replay of past investigative committees that are formed and forgotten."

The Security Council on July 31 expressed "deep concern at increased restrictions and bureaucratic impediments placed by the government of Sudan upon UNAMID movement and operations, particularly to areas of recent conflict".

Darfur's top official, Eltigani Seisi, agreed "there are some issues with access" but he said in August that the government was trying to address them.

In the Hashaba area northwest of El Fasher, more than 70 civilians died in September from rebel-government fighting and aerial bombardments, the United States said.

UNAMID peacekeepers were prevented from reaching the area three times in late September, due to government restrictions blamed on insecurity, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said last month.

On October 17, a UNAMID convoy on its way to the Hashaba area was ambushed by unidentified attackers, killing one South African UNAMID member and wounding three others.

UNAMID said the attack may have been designed to prevent its personnel from reaching the area to assess the situation.

Darfur, in Sudan's far-west, is plagued by overlapping conflicts including rebel-government fighting, banditry, inter-Arab and tribal disputes, nine years after rebels in Darfur rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government.

 

Britain tracks down jihadist network behind concert bomb

Trump to be 'tough' in first meeting with EU, NATO

Qatar probes state news agency hack

Turkey arrests hunger strikers on terror charges

Faz3a, a local NGO mobilising young people to help Mosul refugees

Egypt blocks several media websites including Jazeera

IS suicide bomber kills five in Somalia

Israel uneasy over 'crazy' regional arms race

Algeria president replaces Prime Minister

16 civilians dead in coalition strikes near Raqa

4 arrested in Tunisia anti-corruption drive

German MPs call off Turkey visit as tensions fester

Palestinian hunger strike row draws solidarity, controversy

Britain raises terror alert, deploys troops after concert massacre

At least 20 migrants killed in Mediterranean

Israeli joy at Trump visit lacks substance

Oman evacuates Australian man from Yemen

Bahrain police open fire on Shiite protest, kill five

Jewish extremists ejected from Aqsa mosque compound

Prominent Egypt rights lawyer detained

Oil producers to extend output curbs at OPEC meeting

NATO aims to break Turkey-Austria partnership deadlock

Tunisia tensions simmer after protester's death

Terrorist bomb attack kills 22 at UK pop concert

Bahrain police raid Shiite sit-in killing one protester

Trump says Israelis, Palestinians ‘can make a deal’

Five dead in Syria car bomb attacks

Syria civilians suffer deadliest month of US-led strikes

US forces raid Al-Qaeda in Yemen, kill seven jihadists

Islamists to join Algeria cabinet despite poor results

Tunisia's 2.1% GDP growth marks economic upturn

Trump meets Palestinian leader in Bethlehem

Istanbul demolishes nightclub targeted in New Year attack

WHO says 315 cholera deaths in Yemen in under one month

Trump seeks Israeli-Palestinian peace, lashes out at Iran again

Tunisia police use tear gas on protesters

Palestinians protest for hunger-striking prisoners

GCC and Arab League call for Yemen unity

Turkey's alleged coup ringleaders stand trial

Iran’s reformists sweep to power across major cities

Israel makes concessions to Palestinians 'at Trump's request'

Ivanka hales Saudi progress on women’s rights

Looming showdown between Egypt’s president, judges

Netanyahu says will discuss peace efforts with Trump

Bahrain sentences Shiite cleric to suspended jail term