Sudan puts tighter controls on UN peacekeepers

2014-12-05 10:52
 (Ahmad Gharabli, AFP)

(Ahmad Gharabli, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

United Nations - Sudan has imposed tighter controls on a massive, troubled UN peacekeeping force while trying to pressure it to leave the country, and it claims allegations of a mass rape in Darfur that have strained relations have been found to be not true.

The UN's peacekeeping chief on Thursday told the Security Council that a UN team started meeting this week with Sudanese counterparts about an exit strategy after Sudan's government publicly called for the mission to go.

Tensions are high over the UN's attempts to investigate the reported rape of 200 women and girls in a Darfur village by government-allied troops.

Sudan last month demanded that the mission remove two human rights experts from a Khartoum liaison office, which peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous called "unacceptable".

Now Sudan has told the UN mission not to work with local officials without checking with the foreign ministry, Ladsous said.

Sudanese ambassador Rahamtalla Elnor said it's time to discuss a departure, saying a national dialogue will bring peace to Darfur.

The rape investigation is the latest source of friction between Sudan and the deeply troubled 20 300-strong peacekeeping force in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting the government for more than a decade.

Outrage

The joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission at first said its investigation found no evidence of a mass rape in Tabit village, but the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict said a heavy military presence during the visit could have affected its findings.

The Security Council then demanded that Sudan allow a full investigation.

Instead, Sudan on Thursday called the peacekeeping mission unprofessional and gave council members the results of its own investigation. An executive summary obtained by The Associated Press says a prosecutor's team questioned 88 people in the village and found no evidence of rape.

"The women of Tabet live under the wing of men", the summary says. "No such grave crimes could have happened while men would not move a finger or have some reaction".

It says those questioned were "outraged by the tarnishing of their reputations" and that women in the village have filed a complaint to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The office of Ban's spokesperson said a letter from Sudanese women's groups was sent to a high-ranking UN official in Sudan and transmitted to Ban's office.

"The government of Sudan definitely has nothing to be accused of," Elnor later told reporters.

Sudan's report appeared not to answer some council members' concerns. "Would a woman admit she was raped with soldiers looking over her shoulder? Unbiased investigation needed", council member Lithuania tweeted after the meeting.

The Darfur mission has the second-highest budget of all UN peacekeeping forces, at more than $1.3bn a year, but is has faced persistent criticism about its effectiveness. Early this year, the Security Council ordered a review of its work and asked Ban to suggest options for the mission's future, including an exit strategy, by the end of February 2015.

The council on Thursday urged that Sudan's government cooperate fully with the mission.

Read more on:    un  |  ban ki-moon  |  sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.