SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs [19990624]

SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs [19990624]

SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs, 24 June

UN mission to Nuba mountains

The UN is undertaking its first humanitarian assessment mission to the Nuba mountains since the early 1980s. In a press release, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed his satisfaction and welcomed the cooperation being extended to the mission by both the Sudan government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). Annan said he hoped the UN humanitarian agencies would be able to count on their continued support for the provision of relief to all those in need of humanitarian aid throughout the Sudan. The 21-24 June mission includes representatives of OCHA, UNICEF and WFP. They will assess humanitarian needs of vulnerable civilian populations in five villages in the rebel-held area of the Nuba mountains.

UN breaks ties with NGO

The UN Committee on NGOs last week withdrew the accreditation of a Swiss-based NGO, Christian Solidarity International (CSI), after accusing it of hosting SPLM leader John Garang at the UN Human Rights Commission's annual session in Geneva. CSI earlier this year announced that it had bought the freedom of some 1,050 child slaves in southern Sudan at US $50 per person. The UN accused it of violating rules of accreditation by sponsoring testimony from Garang at the Human Rights Commission's session, under the name of his own "unaccredited organisation," Reuters reported. CSI described the UN's move as "undemocratic" and it has asked that the decision be reversed at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) meeting in Geneva in July.

US House calls Sudan war "genocidal"

The US House of Representatives last week approved a resolution condemning the Sudanese government for its "genocidal war in southern Sudan." The resolution passed the full House by a vote of 416 to 1. "It is the first time in six years that the full House has passed legislation exclusively on Sudan," a statement from the US Committee for Refugees (USCR), received by IRIN, said. The resolution states that Khartoum "is deliberately and systematically committing genocide in southern Sudan" and that an estimated 1.9 million Sudanese have died of war-related causes. "Millions have been displaced from their homes and the Sudan government is threatening the very survival of a whole generation of southern Sudanese," it said.

USCR urged the US administration to appoint a full-time presidential envoy to facilitate peace efforts in Sudan, and to expand sanctions against the Sudan government.

NGO says ceasefire broken

Meanwhile, the NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said on Thursday the ceasefire in southern Sudan had been broken in a series of attacks designed to gain control of the area's oil fields. In a press statement received by IRIN, the organisation said that, in the last month, government forces swept through Ruweng county in western Upper Nile region, killing scores of civilians, abducting hundreds and burning over 6,000 homes. It said in a ten-day offensive, "Antonov bombers, helicopter gunships, tanks and artillery attacked civilians across a 100 km swathe of territory." CSW said survivors of this raid are now living in the bush without shelter, food or water and with no medical supplies.

Kajo Keji and Yei bombed on Sunday

Four bombs were dropped on Kajo Keji on Sunday, of which one fell inside the MSF-Switzerland compound and another on hospital grounds. The bombs, which did not explode, were believed to have been cluster bombs, a UNICEF/OLS report said. Another six bombs were dropped on Yei on the same day, but no casualties were reported.


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Item: irin-english-1098

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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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