Monthly Archives: February 2013

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Top UN humanitarian official in South Sudan urges safety for aid workers


28 February 2013 The top United Nations humanitarian official in South Sudan today expressed deep concern about the fighting in the eastern state of Jonglei and urged a stop to attacks on aid workers and supplies.

“I have been informed of attacks on humanitarian actors and the seizure of humanitarian assets and commodities. This must stop,” the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Toby Lanzer, said in a statement.

He added that civilians in need of aid and protection from violence must be allowed to move freely, and that the provision of “impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian action” be respected by all armed actors.

To date, the UN and its humanitarian partners in South Sudan responded to the needs of over 23,000 people in Akobo County affected by the 8 February fighting in Walgak. According to media reports, the people of Walgok were migrating north to the wetlands with cattle when they came under attack by an armed force.

An integrated UN team – which includes human rights officers from the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) – is in Walgak to support local authorities in gathering information and interviewing survivors in a field hospital to ascertain exactly what happened.

Humanitarian workers are also aiding 19,000 civilians in Pibor County whose lives have been at risk due to inter-communal violence and hostilities between the army and non-State armed actors in the past months, Mr. Lanzer said.

South Sudan has also been plagued by inter-communal violence. In addition to Jonglei state, there have been an increasing number of cattle raids in recent weeks in Unity, Lakes and Warrap states.

In today’s statement, Mr. Lanzer urged armed actors to differentiate between civilians and people directly involved in hostilities, regardless of their ethnicity or location. “I call on all armed actors to respect their obligations under international law to ensure that civilians are spared from the consequences of military engagement.”

He also urged the Government of South Sudan to reinforce its ongoing efforts to strengthen law and order and hold to account those who are responsible for committing crimes and putting civilian populations at risk.

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France and Sudan discuss Mali rebels in Darfur

Sudan and France have discussed the presence of Mali fighters in Darfur, the Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday. Al-Obeid Marwih, spokesperson of the ministry, said the Sudan minister of Foreign affairs Ali Karti went yesterday to Paris to meet his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.

After the meeting, Ali Karti told TV journalists that his government has not received information about the Mali fighters as reported by Radio Dabanga and other media, but he promised the French government concerning the flight of jihadist groups from Mali to Darfur, Karti said: “But we are ready to cooperate in the fight against these individuals if we have received information about these groups.”

Chadian president Idriss Deby informed Paris that rebels fleeing large-scale attacks on their positions in Mali by French and Malian forces had entered Sudan’s western Darfur region, a well-placed diplomatic source told Sudan Tribune. Until recently Sudan fiercely denied the presence of Mali fighters, although pictures have documented the infiltration of Islamist rebels from Mali.

An independent human rights commissioner, Masood Badri al-Deen, claimed in a press conference in Khartoum that the joint African Union-United Nation Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) had also confirmed a Malian rebel presence in Darfur, Sudan Tribune reports. The Sudanese army (SAF) continues to deny the presence of Malian jihadist groups in Darfur. (Picture File Sudan Tribune)

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Night shootings by Abu Tira “horrify” C. Darfur residents

Residents of Umm Dukhun in Central Darfur are “horrified” by night shootings between Tuesday and Wednesday carried out by Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira) stationed south of the town.

Sources told Radio Dabanga they do not know the reasons behind the shooting but reported that the local market has slowly begun reopening its doors on Wednesday morning.

Radio Dabanga reported on Wednesday that a group of civilians was assaulted by four pro-government militias wearing military uniforms not far from Umm Dukhun city.

Photo: Central Reserve Forces (file)

Related: Militia on ‘military attire’ assaults C. Darfur citizens (27 February 2013)

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