‘Rebels intend to revive war in peaceful Darfur’: Sudan govt.
According to the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), seek to revive conflict in the country’s western region.
In a statement on Sunday, the Ministry reacted to a joint Troika-EU statement issued on Thursday that called on the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebel movements to show restraint after fierce fighting broke out in East and North Darfur on 20 May. They should ensure safe and unhindered access to humanitarian organisations and actively seek a political compromise.
According to the FA Ministry, the rebel group of Minawi “initiated the aggression in Darfur with the view to renew the fighting in Darfur from two fronts. They crossed the borders with South Sudan and with Libya in a desperate attempt to re-sow seeds of conflict in Darfur which is witnessing peace, security and stability, as was testified by international envoys from the UN and the African Union”.
The Sudan Armed Forces repulsed the “deliberate attacks” and “were able to defeat the remnants of the rebels”.
The Ministry holds the SLM-MM “fully responsible” for the clashes, and accused the rebel movement of rejecting negotiations and dialogue, and of turning down “all initiatives that call for the cessation of hostilities, reconstruction and an all-inclusive political settlement in the region”.
In the statement, published by the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) on Sunday, the Ministry further “reaffirms the full commitment of the Government of National Concord to the ceasefire, the cessation of hostilities, and to dialogue as the best means for achieving a comprehensive peace”.
It emphasises that “the Sudan Armed Forces and other military and security bodies responded to the flagrant aggression by Minawi’s rebel movement. They have exercised their full right and duty in self-defence for the restoration of security and stability in Darfur”.
The Ministry further called on the international community, in particular the Sudan Troika (USA, UK, and Norway) and the EU “to exert more pressure on the armed rebel movements to opt for negotiated settlement and peace, by positively responding to the international and regional initiatives that support the Sudanese government’s efforts seeking to achieve comprehensive peace via peaceful means”.
In a reaction to the Troika-EU statement on Friday, the SLM-MM called on Unamid to move to the conflict areas to verify what is happening on the ground and protect the civilians, and on the Troika and the EU to pressure the Sudanese government to allow humanitarian organisations access to conflict-affected areas in Darfur.
The rebel movement further warned the international community of attempts by Khartoum to conceal its aggression, the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the recent attacks, and the “flagrant violations of human rights” in the country.
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