Khartoum cries for urgent relief aid in Darfur

  Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- After expressing concern about the escalating humanitarian situation in Sudan's western Darfur region, authorities in Khartoum are appealing to the international community to provide "urgent and necessary relief supplies" to the region.
   "The ongoing efforts in Darfur can't succeed unless the rebel groups stop their raids which threaten peace and stability in Darfur.
And the international community needs to double its efforts to provide urgent and necessary humanitarian relief supplies for thousands affected by the war," the ministry of foreign affairs said in a press release here Monday.
The statement was in apparent response to two reports recently presented at the UN Security Council over the disastrous humanitarian situation in Darfur where human rights abuse are also reported to be rife.
For the first time since the conflict erupted in February 2003 between government troops and two rebel movements, officials in Khartoum Monday acknowledged the humanitarian crisis there, but rejected charges that the government had encouraged ethnic cleansing.
The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) spearhead the revolt by the indigenous Fur Massalite and Zaghawa minorities in Darfur, seeking recognition from the government.
   More than 100,000 Sudanese have fled to neighbouring Chad and an estimated 1 million more are internally displaced.
Two high-level UN missions on humanitarian issues and human rights abuses recently toured Darfur, and reported that the Khartoum government backed Arab militias called Janjaweed accused of engaging in burning villages and ethnic cleansing.
   "The aggravated humanitarian situations which led to displacement of thousands of citizens in the region are a direct result of the ongoing crisis caused by the rebel movements" the ministry insisted.
It denied that the alleged human rights violations in the region are a systematic and orchestrating campaign by a specific group, but rather "reflect the unavoidable fighting acts relating to the conflict nature".

11 may 2004 08:38:00

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