UN: UNAMID investigates alleged rapes in Darfur town

New York, US (PANA) - The UN/AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has expressed its "deep
concern"about allegations circulating in local media over the mass rape of 200 women
and girls in a town in the region’s North, declaring that it is conducting a thorough
investigation into the veracity of the claims.

In a statement Wednesday, UNAMID cited reports of the alleged mass rape in the town of
Tabit, located 45 kilometres south-west of El Fasher, in North Darfur.

It said a UNAMID verification patrol was immediately dispatched to conduct an investigation
but on reaching the outskirts of the town, it was denied access by Sudanese military at a
checkpoint.

It stated: "The mission leadership is calling on authorities of the Government of Sudan to
grant UNAMID unhindered access to all Darfur, especially to areas where alleged incidents
affecting civilians have been reported."

The statement also said that UNAMID remained "determined to obtain crucial information
and leads into the alleged rapes."

As a result, it said a UNAMID integrated mission was dispatched to Zamzam camp for
internally displaced people on Wednesday with the purpose of assessing and
determining possible displacements from Tabit resulting from any violence which may
have occurred but failed to find any evidence.

In addition, the mission said UN human rights officers met with the Chief Prosecutor
of North Darfur who stated that, "not a single complaint about any rape incident was
received from Tabit."

Tensions have been simmering across Darfur over the past few months and in
October, an attack on UNAMID peacekeepers by armed militants claimed the lives
of three peacekeepers.

The UN estimates that some 385,000 people have been displaced by the conflict
between the Government of Sudan and armed movements in Darfur since the start
of 2014.

UN has repeatedly called on all sides to join negotiations aimed at achieving a
permanent ceasefire and comprehensive peace for the people of Darfur, which has
witnessed fighting since 2003.
-0- PANA AA/AR 5Nov2014

05 november 2014 18:33:20




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