Sudan blames world community for collapse of Darfur talks

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- A Sudanese minister has accused the international community of failing to exert pressure on rebel groups in Darfur to begin political negotiations aimed at putting an end the armed conflict raging in the region since February 2003.
Addressing a news conference here Tuesday, humanitarian affairs minister Ibrahim Mahmoud said that while the government sent a high-level political delegation to the talks in Addis Ababa last month, the rebels low-ranking people.
According to the minister, the representatives of rebel groups withdrew from the negotiations due to lack of international pressure on them.
Mahamoud said that even if the government in Khartoum has some  responsibility for what happened in the western Darfur region, the rebel groups are to blame for continuing the human crisis.
The minister claimed that the currently only the Southern Darfur State is affected by conflict and looting, especially along the road between Inyala town and Deain village where the rebels are active.
Northern and Western Darfur States are safe, he added.
The Sudanese minister also accused the international media of focusing on the reactions of the government to the rebellion and not the harm being done by rebel fighters against civilians and members of UN humanitarian organisations operating in the area.
Mahmoud told journalists that the humanitarian and health Situation has slightly improved, adding that the government and World Food Programme have provided 90,000 tones of food to displaced persons in the troubled region.
He said that an increasing number of IDPs were voluntarily leaving the camps where they had fled to escape violence and were returning to their villages under the protection of thousands of police officers deployed there by the ministry of internal affairs lately.
Mahmoud thanked countries and organisations that have provided assistance to the population in Darfur.
However, he blamed the international community for not forcing the two rebel groups in Darfur to abide by the cease-fire they signed with the government under Chadian mediation.
The Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement walked out of the peace talks convened by the African Union (AU) on 15 July, saying they would only sit on a negotiations table after the government has disarmed the Arab "Janjaweed" militia group.

03 august 2004 14:53:00

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