Published on June 10, 2015
(KHARTOUM) – Sudan government accused the United Nations chief of misleading the Security Council by speaking about a surge of violence between the government forces and rebels in Darfur, saying the region is only witnessing tribal fighting.
In his latest regular report to the Security Council, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said the past three months were marked by an escalation of hostilities between the Sudanese government forces and the rebel groups.
The report which is generally drafted by the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the UN peacekeeping department made detailed presentation for the ongoing “Decisive Summer” campaign on the rebel positions particularly in mountainous area of Jebel Marra which triggered a recent wave of displacement.
In a meeting held on Wednesday to discuss the report ahead of the renewal of the mission’s mandate for another year, the assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Edmond Mulet, briefed the Council on the conflict dynamics and on the development of an exit strategy for the UNAMID.
Speaking in the meeting, Sudan’s acting representative to the United Nations, Hassan Hamid Hassan, criticized the report saying “it inverted the facts and misled the members of the UN Security Council”. He further said that “some of the information provided therein is not accurate at all. ”
Hassan said the report presented the violence and the displacement of civilians caused by the tribal fighting as a result of clashes between the government forces and the rebel groups
He further said that there was an only battle with the rebels as it was said in the report.
The Sudanese diplomat was referring to the fight of the 26 April when the Sudanese government Rapid Support Forces (RSF) ambushed the fighters of the Justice and Equality Movement ridding nearly 300 vehicles who crossed into South Darfur from South Sudan.
JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim admitted the defeat of his forces admitted its troops, but refuted that the war in Darfur was over. President Omer al-Bashir travelled to Al-Nikhara in South Darfur and celebrated the victory of his troops.
The Sudanese ambassador also defended the action of the RSF militiamen in the Darfur. He said they contributed to restore security and rejected reports saying civilians were forced to flee the areas where the Sudanese fighters attack the rebels.
He said the recent waves of displacement in the region were triggered by the intercommunal fighting between the Ma’alia and the Rezeigat tribes which persists since before Sudan’s independence in 1956.
Sudan; the United Nations and the African Union are conducting discussions on the mandate of UNAMID, steps towards an exit strategy and a handover of certain tasks to the United Nations country team.
The Sudanese government seemingly fears that such report affects the implementation of the gradual exit strategy as increasing calls demand to stop the process.
Hassan accused the rebel groups of seeking to maintain the 12-year displaced civilians in the camps across Darfur to justify their war on the government.
He emphasised that his government is sticking to the UNAMID exit strategy to make it clear for residents of these camps that they “would not stay forever and they have to return to their areas”.
“We do not want generations to remain in the camps,” he added.
The Sudanese government accuses the rebels of politicizing the camps and manipulating the residents. Several attempts were conducted in the past to close some of these camps.