Khartoum ties SPLA/M to Darfur conflict

  Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail Saturday alleged that the seperatist Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) was the mastermind behind the conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region.
He said the SPLA/M had designed the conflict as a plot to launch a new war against the Khartoum government from the north and place it in a state of siege.
"The movement (SPLA/M) is undertaking training of Darfur rebels in order to spring a new disaster in our country," Ismail told a news conference here.
Hundreds of people have died since early 2003 when the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) took up arms to fight for autonomy and greater state aid in the neglected Darfur region.
Intense fighting in recent time has sent an estimated 110,000 Sudanese fleeing into Chad, while another 700,000 are internally displaced and in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
Commenting on the UN Commission on Human Rights recent resolution, the foreign minister said claims of a humanitarian catastrophe in restive Darfur was a mere conspiracy plotted by rebel groups and some human rights organisations.
Fifty members of the commission approved the document drawn up as a compromise between the European and African blocs on the panel.
Ismail reiterated Sudan's gratitude to the African nations on the Commission for remaining steadfast in blocking an earlier damning resolution purportedly prepared by the European representatives.

24 april 2004 17:06:00

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