Sudanese president refutes reports of ethnic cleansing in Darfur

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- Sudanese President Omar Hassan el-Bashir has categorically refuted allegations of ethnic cleansing and other atrocities in the war-ravaged western region of Darfur, while stressing that his government was fully committed to ensuring security and stability in the area.
Last 7 May, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) urged Sudan to stem human rights abuses in Darfur, where government troops and allied militias were accused of perpetrating atrocities against civilians during military operations against insurgents.
Addressing a mass rally in Neyala, capital of South Darfur which he toured for a second time this month, the President said it was the government's intention to get internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees to return to their villages before the rains set in.
He said Khartoum was determined to provide Darfur with security, stability and agricultural inputs.
The IDPs and refugees have repeatedly said they would return home only when the pro-Khartoum Janjaweed militias are disarmed.
The President called on Darfur people to work at ending tribal conflicts, as comprehensive peace for all Sudanese was in the horizon.
He said First Vice President Ali Hossman Mohamed Taha would not return to Khartoum from talks in Naivasha, Kenya with the separatist Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) without striking a final peace agreement.

20 may 2004 12:15:00

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