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Rebel Group Urges Security Council to Help End Darfur Violence

  • Peter Clottey

A 2009 file photo of Sudanese rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader Khalil Ibrahim during a Darfur peace meeting in Doha, Qatar

The spokesman for the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has called on the U.N. Security Council to do more than pay lip-service to the people of Darfur as officials of the world body begin a scheduled visit to Sudan.

Diplomats expressed concern over renewed violence in the restive Darfur region.

JEM’s spokesman Ahmed Hussein Adam said there is a need for the Security Council to put pressure on President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir’s government to end the violence in the internally displaced camps in Darfur.

“I actually appeal to them to go beyond words and beyond expressing their concern about the grave situation on the ground. What we need from the Security Council is for them to act and to take action because the Security Council’s prime responsibility is to protect people and to stop the violation of human rights as well as to maintain security and peace.”

Adam also said that the ongoing violence is a security threat not only to the residents in Darfur but also a blot on the conscience of the entire international community.

Officials of the Security Council are expected to put pressure on Khartoum to ensure the semi-autonomous south Sudan’s scheduled 9th January referendum proceeds as originally planned.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice was quoted as saying “with less than 100 days until the vote, our visit comes at a crucial time for Sudan… We will push for peaceful, on-time referenda that reflect the will of the people of south Sudan and Abyei, and we will visit Darfur to assess the humanitarian situation and the plight of civilians in the wake of a disturbing uptick in violence.”

JEM spokesman Adam urged officials of the Security Council not to allow Khartoum to get away with the renewed violence in Darfur.

“What is going on now in Darfur and in Sudan is a real threat to the international peace and security and a violation of human rights. Genocide is going on right now in Darfur. What we want from the Security Council is a major action which will stop what is going on and to improve the humanitarian situation

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying it was “difficult” dealing with President Bashir’s government ahead of the January referendum.