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.

 

GCC states reject UN call for urgent Yemen ceasefire

US bolsters own naval presence in Arabian sea

Egypt court sentences Morsi to 20 years in prison

‘Islamic State’ claims execution of 11 pro-government fighters in Iraq

Fears of more migrant deaths as Mediterranean becomes mass grave

Libya condemns 'death smugglers' after shipwreck

Sudan security agents detain opposition activist

Main Kurdish party vows to be 'sultan' Erdogan's nightmare

Away from Ramadi, thousands of displaced face mounting challenges

Egypt's Morsi awaits likely death penalty

Iran to neighbours: Nuclear deal could open door to regional cooperation

Lebanon ex-minister admits transporting explosives from Syria

Italy considers 'targeted interventions' against people smugglers in Libya

Latest developments in Middle East remind Washington of Egypt’s key role

Egypt confirms death sentences against 22 Morsi supporters

Qatar to float football fans during 2022 World Cup

Tunisia President plans visit to White House next month

France urges peace deal to restore order in Libya

Huthi forces crumble in face of Saudi-led air campaign

Mogherini: No more excuses on migrants

Lebanon receives first French weapons to bolster army

Saudi Arabia puts security forces on alert over possible attacks

US condemns IS 'brutal murder' against Christians in Libya

At least six killed in bomb attack on UN bus in Somalia

Yemen rebel leader vows resistance against Saudi-led ‘aggression’

Crisis of unemployment: Over 30% of Arab youth jobless

Arab army chiefs to discuss dream of joint military force

Libya peace talks 'very close' to final accord

Large wave of displacement as violence rages on in Anbar

Khamenei urges Iran military to increase ' defensive preparedness'

‘Islamic State’ claims executions of Ethiopia Christians in Libya

Egypt sentences 11 football fans to death in retrial after 2012 riot

Thousands of Yemen troops side with President Hadi

Tunisia prevents departure of more than 12,000 would-be jihadists

Unidentified gunman opens fire on pro-Kurdish party office in Turkey

Iraq PM's spokesman resigns over pro-Saddam song

Israel pledges to transfer frozen taxes to Palestinian Authority

'Differences' emerge in Libya peace talks

Saudi Arabia vows to cover UN aid appeal for Yemen

Iraqi forces kill Hussein deputy in Salahuddin province

Iraq massacre site turns into memorial

Israeli coalition talks approaching deadline

Turkish PM condemns EU resolution on Armenian genocide

Tehran calls for immediate Yemen peace talks

Assad accuses Turkey of torpedoing UN Aleppo truce plan