Home | News    Friday 24 November 2006

Sudanese army deliberately attacked Darfur civilians - UN

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Nov 24, 2006 (GENEVA) — Sudanese armed forces deliberately attacked civilians in western Darfur killing 11, including a woman burnt to death in her home, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has said.

More than 100 houses in the Sirba region were torched in the November 11 attack in which eight civilians were also shot and injured, including two girls aged three and 15, High Commissioner spokeswoman Praveen Randhawa said Friday.

African Union sources had already highlighted the attack on November 13, claiming 30 people were killed and 40 injured, and pointing the finger at the Khartoum-backed Janjaweed militia.

Sudanese government officials had denied any militia involvement and said the government used force to repel an attack by Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels on a Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) convoy, Randhawa said.

However, no evidence has been found to support this claim, she said.

"Contrary to the government’s claims, it appears that SAF launched a deliberate and unprovoked attack on civilians and their property in Sirba," she said.

Even if the action had been in response to a rebel attack, the response was still "indiscriminate and disproportionate," Randhawa added, noting that destroying and looting civilian property is banned under international law.

(AFP)

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