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.

 

US halting support for Syria rebels

US maintains designation of Iran as top 'state sponsor'

More than 330,000 killed in Syria war

Morocco sentences 25 to prison over W. Sahara killings

Foreign food chains hoping for taste of Iran market

Kuwait expels Iranian diplomats over 'terror' cell

Germany vows to overhaul Turkey ties as row escalates

Home cooked meals a relief for fighters in Syria's Raqa

30 civilians dead in anti-IS strikes in Syria

Palestinian civilians urge ICC to speed up probe

Turkey PM opts for stability in light cabinet reshuffle

UN aid flight carrying journalists barred from Yemen

Former IS slaves fight for revenge in Raqa

US, Iran trade tit-for-tat sanctions

20 Yemeni civilians killed in air strike

14 killed in opposition infighting in Syria's Idlib

Egypt police kill top militants

Heavy rainfall hits Istanbul causing transport chaos

Palestinians protest Israeli security measures at Al-Aqsa compound

Saudi police question woman who wore miniskirt

Rebels, US-backed Kurds clash in northern Syria

Netanyahu says Hungary is 'standing up for' Israel

Lebanon army to launch operation near Syria border

Morocco delays currency reform amid speculation

Iran parliament vows to fight US 'adventurism'

4 killed in suicide car bomb at Kurdish checkpoint in Syria

Israel opposes Syria truce deal over Iran presence

Egypt to end visas on arrival for Qatari citizens

Erdogan to visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia

Turkey court refuses to free six rights activists

Trump keeps Iran deal, but sanctions will stay in place

UAE FM warns Qatar is 'undermining' GCC allies

Jordanian soldier gets life sentence for killing 3 US trainers

14 Kuwaiti Shiite fugitives flee to Iran

9 militants killed in Sinai Peninsula

Israel to reopen sensitive Jerusalem holy site

Juncker: Turkey must stick to democratic values to join EU

Old City locked down after Jerusalem attack

Return to Mosul a distant dream for many displaced

Tragic end to Raqa family's hopes of burying loved ones

Germany confirms 2 nationals killed in Egypt

Turkey celebrates defeat of anti-Erdogan coup

Two tourists killed in Egypt beach resort stabbing

3 Palestinians, 2 Israeli police killed in Jerusalem attack

US-backed fighters launch new push against IS in Raqa