Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Despite Kofi Annan's and Colin Powell's visits to Sudan last week, Sudan Interior Minister says there is no intention to disarm Janjaweed militias in Darfur. It's important to keep U.S. attention focused on the ongoing genocide in Sudan, and not get fooled by the Sudanese government's lying to us.

This story Killing goes on as Sudan lies to world and defies UN shows that even when Annan and Powell were in Sudan, the Janjaweed and government attacks in Darfur were continuing.

SUDANESE government forces and Arab militia have launched a fresh wave of murderous attacks on black African villagers in Darfur in defiance of demands from the United Nations and the United States for an end to the fighting.

Fleeing refugees have described how villages in south eastern Darfur were bombed by Antonov aircraft and helicopter gunships before Janjaweed militia men in pick-up trucks and riding horses and camels swarmed into the villages, killing men, women and children, raping women, stealing property and animals, and setting houses alight.

Survivors say that the attacks took place last week, while Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, and Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, were visiting the country to demand an end to the genocide which aid workers have warned could result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

The UN High Commission for Refugees said more than 100 desperate people had fled the latest killings and braved heavy fighting to make it to a refugee camp at Kalma, near Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.

At least 40,000 people are living in the camp and aid agencies say they are struggling to provide food, water and medical care to the displaced people, who include many severely malnourished babies.

A UN spokeswoman said that the latest attacks on villages came as the Sudanese government and Janjaweed militia launched a fresh offensive against two rebel groups in breach of a cease-fire agreement signed in April. Rebel groups have warned that they will retaliate if the Khartoum regime continues to break the cease-fire.

She said: "Despite a cease-fire signed in April between the Sudanese government and two rebel groups, fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region continues to displace civilians who say they are innocent victims."

The UNHCR also released details of an attack on aid workers inside nearby Chad, where tens of thousands of refugees have fled.

On Sunday a group from Norwegian Church Aid, which is based in Iriba about 50km from the Chad-Sudan border, were kidnapped by armed men as they drove from the nearby Touloum camp to Iridimi camp a short distance from the town. They were later released and their vehicle stolen. The identity of the attackers is not known.

For more information on Darfur, see this web site, Darfur Information Center.

It's not only Westerners who refuse to call what's going on in Darfur genocide. In this story, the African Union "sees no genocide" in Darfur. According to this article, the Sudanese foreign minister said "The decision showed quite clearly that there is no genocide. We are happy about it, although we admit that there is a desperate humanitarian need." The African Union was not even willing to call what's going on in Darfur "ethnic cleansing."

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