Thursday, October 06, 2005

AU says has film of Sudanese security force attacks

06 Oct 2005 09:08:00 GMT
Source: AlertNet

By Tsegaye Tadesse

ADDIS ABABA, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The African Union mission in Darfur is prepared to produce film and pictures to prove Sudan's security forces are attacking civilians there, despite Khartoum's denials, the AU mission chief said on Wednesday.

Baba Gana Kingibe, leader of an AU team monitoring a shaky ceasefire, told reporters he had confidence in an AU report that all parties to the conflict were breaking the truce and that the violence had included attacks by government helicopter gunships.

The Sudanese army has denied the allegations, saying the AU report was based on comments from aid agency officials in Darfur that were unreliable.

"We reported what we have observed. The report we received from the field said helicopter gunships were observed overhead in two different locations in Darfur," Kingibe told reporters at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

"We have films and pictures. We do not make a statement of that nature, grave as they are, without evidence. If necessary we are ready to show them," he said.

He added without elaborating that Sudanese government forces had attacked not only refugee camps but also compounds that house some AU troops in Darfur's Tawila district.

"I do hope the (AU) Peace and Security Council would express total disgust over the very serious situation which is taking place in Darfur, whenever they convene," he added.

The council is scheduled to meet on Thursday but is only scheduled to discuss the political crisis in Ivory Coast.


Tens of thousands have been killed during the 2-1/2 year-old revolt in Sudan's remote west and more than 2 million have fled their homes during a campaign of widespread rape, killing and burning of villages rebels blame on pro-government militias.

Despite peace talks and a ceasefire, violence has spiralled over the past two weeks. Rebel forces attacked a government garrison and Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, rampaged through a refugee camp, killing at least 34.

The AU has said helicopters were seen flying in the area at the time of the attack, indicating collusion between the government and Janjaweed.

Kingibe was in Addis Ababa to attend an emergency meeting of the council on Darfur that had been set for Wednesday. He said the gathering had been postponed to give delegates more time for informal consultations.

No new date has been announced for the meeting.

Kingibe blamed all parties to the conflict, saying they were not committed to observing the agreed ceasefire.

He said the deteriorating security situation in Darfur did not augur well for the peace talks being held in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Kingibe complained that 105 armoured vehicles donated by Canada were sitting in a dock in Dakar, Senegal because the AU had not received permission to bring them into Sudan.

"Had these vehicles been deployed, the AU would have been able to protect IDP camps and protect villages," he said.

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