The European Union pulled its elections monitors out of Darfur because they are unsafe in the region, the chief of the mission said. The European mission is supposed to have full strength of 130 observers, six of which were in Darfur.
Veronique De Keyser, head of the mission, told reporters “In some parts of Darfur the violence is terrible. The humanitarians cannot access this area. And if aid cannot access, we cannot access.”
“We can only have a very partial view, so how can we observe properly in Darfur? The credibility of the mission is at stake. People have been asking how can you observe in Darfur, and this is a question I have to answer,” she said while on a one day trip to El Fashir in Darfur.
Several Europeans working as aid workers last year were kidnapped in the region after President Omar Al Bashir was indicted on war crimes charges. All have now been released.
De Keyser also mentioned she was concerned about President Bashir´s threat to expel international observers who recommend delaying the elections. Yesterday the field director of the other major international observation mission in Sudan, the Carter Center, told Radio Dabanga that he was not concerned that President Bashir´s remarks threaten threatens the credibility of his observation mission.