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.

 

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

Gunmen storm South Sudan UN base killing 20

Malaysia activists: Obama you are not welcome here!

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’