Home | News    Friday 16 April 2004

Eritrea arming rebels, claims Sudanese envoy

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By Peter Tindwa, the Guardian (Tanzania)

DAR ES SALAAM, April 16, 2004 — The government of the Republic of the Sudan has accused Eritrea of arming factions and offering military training to armed rebels in Darfur, forcing 50,000 Sudanese refugees to seek asylum in Chad.

Sudanese Ambassador to Tanzania Abd El-moneim Hassan Mohammed claimed in Dar es Salaam yesterday that Eritrea has been offering military training to Sudanese militias in Kasara, eastern part of the Sudan.

"Eritrea does not honour Sudan’s hospitality of sheltering hundreds of thousands of refugees from Eritrea during their two decades war with Ethiopia," he said.

He said Eritrea has been sabotaging Sudan in many forms through clandestine movements, especially by arming three armed groups in Darfur in the western part of Sudan.

"Asmara’s government has been supporting opposition leaders from Sudan Liberation Movement Army in Darfur, Movement of Equality and Justice and the Federal Democratic Union," Ambassador Mohammed said.

He added that such military support to armed rebels in Darfur has been creating instability in Sudan, especially in Darfur where at least 7,000 people have been internally displaced.
"Armed factions have been demanding too much from the Khartoum government.

Their demands reflect the fact that their movements are politically motivated and contain extraordinary demands backed from outside, causing unwanted sufferings among local inhabitants in Darfur," Ambassador Mohammed said.

He called on Eritrea to refrain from supporting armed factions in Darfur so that a durable peace might be achieved.

He also called on the international community to offer humanitarian aid to affected people in Darfur and avert a so called "fresh genocide" in Sudan.

The Sudanese envoy, however, stressed that there was no genocide in Sudan as reported by foreign media and other countries.

In the meantime, the President of Sudan, General Omar El-Bashir, has asked the United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to send a delegation for a fact finding mission in Darfur, to establish the truth regarding the said "genocide" in Darfur.

"Sudanese government is deeply committed to ensure that a durable peace is achieved soon through a political dialogue and not military solution," Ambassador Mohammed said.

Meanwhile, new peace talks on Darfur’s conflict are scheduled for next Tuesday, in Ndjamena, capital of Chad, according to Ambassador Mohammed.

The Ndjamena’s peace talks would involve representatives from the Khartoum government and armed factions, he said.

The next week’s peace talks would be chaired by the Chadian President, Idris Dibi. The peace talks for Darfur are being facilitated by the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), UN and non-governmental organizations dealing with peace initiatives and humanitarian aid, according to Ambassador Mohammed.

So far, Sudan government has already deployed its soldiers to restore peace and order in Darfur, he said.

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