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.

 

UN Syria peace talks begin in Geneva

Israel to deny Human Rights Watch visas for being ‘biased’

Iraqi forces enter IS-held west Mosul

Suicide bomb attack on rebels kills 51 near Al-Bab

Marrakesh clinches top ranking of African urban life

UN considers Syria sanctions over chemical attacks

Saudi Comic-Con slammed as ‘sin’ in online backlash

Jordanians protest government price hikes

Baghdad coordinated anti-IS airstrikes with Damascus says source

New Hamas Gaza leader makes first public appearance

Palestinian protestors clash with Israeli soldiers in West Bank

Jordanian F-16 crashes in Saudi, pilot survives

Iraqi PM says air force strikes IS targets in Syria

UN slams light sentence for Israeli soldier

Saudi king seeks investment on rare Asia tour

Saudi minister discusses hajj with Iran

136 Turkish diplomats, soldiers seek German asylum since coup

New Hamas ‘strongman’ could spell fresh Israeli conflict

Suicide car bomb kills eight outside Yemen army base

Fired Turkish academics protest ‘unjust’ dismissals

Iraqi forces jovial after Mosul airport entry

Syrian rebels announce capture of flashpoint town from IS

Iraqi forces enter IS-held Mosul airport

Swedish citizen jailed for IS Facebook post

Somalia names new prime minister

Netanyahu backs pardon for Israel soldier who shot Palestinian

UN envoy meets Syrian rivals, hopes of breakthrough slim

Yemeni government forces pin back rebels on coast

Israeli Supreme Court appoints deeply right-wing judges

Hundreds of Australians protest Netanyahu

Yemen rebel fire kills policeman on Saudi border

UN condemns Israel's new West Bank demolition plans

UN envoy says Russia asked Syria to halt bombing during talks

Bahrain arrests 20, approves military trials for civilians

Israel blocks EU lawmakers from Gaza entry

Syrian migrant on trial in Austria over 20 murders

UN says rapes, killings still blight Darfur

Yemen president says Saudi saving $10 bn for reconstruction

Top Yemen commander killed in missile strike

New Somali president says ability to deal with nation's problems 'limited'

Israel lifts ban on basketball team playing in Turkey

Arab League condemns Israeli soldier’s lenient sentence

Turkey lifts ban on Islamic headscarves in army

Israeli ministry orders removal of Haifa ammonia tank

Iraqi forces ready for assault on Mosul airport