A prominent member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has dismissed a leaked UN report, calling it biased and untrue.
The report accuses Sudan's army and police of possibly committing war crimes in the state of Southern Kordofan, where fighting has raged since early June. It says government forces also targeted members of the Nubian ethnic group.
Southern Kordofan is controlled by Khartoum, but many of its residents are sympathetic to South Sudan, which gained its independence earlier this month.
“This report was based on false information, and we are not bothered by it,” said Rabie Abdelati Obeid. “What is happening on the ground is different from what is in the report and that is why we are stressing the reality on the ground.”
Obeid said the Khartoum government is constitutionally mandated to protect residents of Southern Kordofan from what he calls insurgent rebels.
“Southern Kordofan is completely under the control of our government. Our government succeeded in pushing back all the [rebels] led by Abdel Aziz…[and] now the majority of cities in Southern Kordofan State are enjoying peace and security,” said Obeid.
Sudanese officials have characterized the fighting in Southern Kordofan as a rebellion. The U.N. report says it may have been triggered by Khartoum’s ultimatum requiring former southern soldiers to leave the state.
The leaked UN report also says Sudanese forces have harassed the UN mission in Sudan with intimidation, physical assaults, arbitrary arrests and ill treatment amounting to torture.
But Obeid rejected the charges.
“We consider such information as rumors and such reports issued by the U.N. as representing a biased [view], and there is no impartiality,” said Obeid. “Even the U.N. forces, including U.N. police, are protected by our government, and at all times they ask our government to protect them.”
He said the U.N. Mission in Sudan has overstayed its mandate and called for its departure.
“I don’t think the U.N. forces, including the police of the U.N., have any role in achieving security and peace in Southern Kordofan,”said Obeid. “Now it is high time that all U.N. forces including the police should leave Sudan as mandated and mentioned in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA], signed in 2005.”