The human rights group – Amnesty International – has released a new report called “Sudan: Crying Out for Safety.” It says renewed violence in Sudan’s Darfur region has led to more killings and rapes of civilians.
Elizabeth Hodgkin is a spokesperson for Amnesty International. From London, she spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about why the report is being released Thursday.
“Today (10/5) is five months after the signing of the Darfur peace agreement and instead of getting better the situation seems to have got worse. Amnesty sent a mission to Chad because we’re not allowed into Darfur by the Sudanese Government. And we gathered testimonies from dozens of refugees, who recently fled from Darfur to Chad. They painted a bleak picture of what was happening in Darfur. In West Darfur, particularly, where most of them came from, the janjaweed (militias) occupy the land. They occupy all the areas outside the towns and the camps. Going outside the camps is difficult and dangerous.”
As for North Darfur where a government offensive is taking place, Hodgkin says Amnesty has received reports from there as well. She says, “Again, Amnesty International is receiving stories of rapes and extra-judicial executions.”
The Amnesty report calls on the Sudanese Government to consent to the deployment of UN peacekeepers; and halt all violations of international and humanitarian law.
Sudan says it is defending itself against attacks by rebel groups in Darfur.