Home | News    Monday 28 May 2007

Central Africa demands removal of armed Sudanese

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May 27, 2007 (BANGUI) — The Central African Republic government on Saturday demanded that neighbouring Sudan remove armed Sudanese men alleged to have entered its territory, national radio reported.

Foreign Minister Come Zoumara met with Sudan’s ambassador in Bangui, Ahmed Hassan Said, and "expressed the Central African Republic government’s discontentment and strong protest before the presence of armed men from Sudan on its territory who entered on the 24th and 25th of May."

He demanded that the ambassador notify Khartoum "so that these men leave Central African Republic soil immediately," the radio station reported.

A military source in the Central African Republic government told AFP the men arrived in the country after clashes between the Sudanese military and rebels in Darfur.

"We are talking about 1,000 to 2,000 refugees who were, to a certain extent, rebels who hid their weapons to obtain refugee status," the source said.

They are located in Sam Ouandja, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the Sudanese border, according to the source.

"There are almost no means of communication there," the military source said. "The information that we have is extremely fragmented and the numbers are probably not very credible."

Rebels who Bangui accused of arriving from the Darfur region of western Sudan occupied several areas in northeastern CAR at the end of last year. They were eventually dispersed by the country’s army with the support of French troops.

The rebels, members of the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity, signed a peace deal with the government on April 13.

The United Nations estimates that at least 200,000 people have died in the four-year-old conflict in Darfur, sparked when an ethnic minority rebellion drew a scorched earth response from the military and allied militias.

(AFP)

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