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Category:  Press » Politics & Government

 

Sudan Committed to Ceasefire But Also Prepared to Safeguard Country's Security

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2008-11-22 04:03:10     
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan

The following release is being issued by the Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan:

Not in the least bit surprising, accusations are already being marshaled, in the usual fashion, against the Government claiming that the latter has violated the "immediate" and "unconditional" ceasefire declared just 9 days ago on the 12th of November by President al-Bashir. Given the fact that even the rebels have admitted to attacking a Government army base first and only in defense did the unit move to return fire, it transcends reason why the finger is pointed at the attacked and not the perpetrator who himself admits to provocation.

Upon the declaration of this ceasefire -- a resolution that came about from a month long convention of the "Sudan People's Initiative" in October aimed at laying down the foundations for a roadmap of peace in Darfur -- President al-Bashir, anticipating incidents of this nature, urged that there be put in place a mechanism through which the ceasefire could be monitored by both regional and international actors, that way, parties who violate it are duly held accountable. Yet, unfortunately, since the declaration of the ceasefire was not enthusiastically received by key countries whose endorsement would have gone a long way towards its effective implementation, what is unfolding is the only logical outcome.

It was the rebels who, taking advantage of this very lax policy maintained towards them by these very countries, scoffed at the declaration and shortly embarked on a series of attacks aimed at provoking and compelling the Armed Forces to retaliate. As such, Sudan regrets the absurd allegations subsequently made by certain personalities about some continued military offensive that the Government is engaged in. A day after the ceasefire went into effect, the SLM rebel group led by Hamad Shatta ambushed and looted relief trucks destined for the IDPs. Again on the 15th another group managed to lure the Government into sending a military delegation under the pretext of negotiating a deal. Upon the delegation's arrival, the rebels opened fire, killing an officer, wounding two and seizing a land cruiser. Then on the 16th they carried out yet another attack against a police force in South Darfur killing a captain, wounding one and leaving 8 unaccounted for.

Despite these crimes and overt violations of the ceasefire, despite this blatant provocation of the Armed Forces, there is no issued condemnation of the perpetrators nor a substantive demand for cessation of hostilities from them. Instead, there is an irrational insistence on blaming the Government even for things clearly instigated by the rebels who have seemingly found safe haven in this culture of impunity woven by the soft hand of the international community. The nation's Armed Forces have a responsibility towards the country and will go after those who seize relief vehicles as well as defend themselves if and when attacked. The rebels and the bandits should not misinterpret the intention behind the ceasefire as a freehand or ticket to act criminally. The Armed forces will consistently carry out their duty to deter such a behavior every time it occurs and this in no way should amount to a violation of the ceasefire. Sudan pleads yet again with the same international community to apply pressure on the rebels and on those who have a stake in Sudan to observe the ceasefire and to work in good faith in seeking a swift and peaceful resolution of the conflict.

CONTACT: Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan Information Office, +1-202-338-8565, +1-202-667-2406

Specialized in: Sudan Committed - Ceasefire
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