15 killed in ambush in Sudan’s Darfur
At least 15 people were killed and 10 others injured when gunmen ambushed a vehicle carrying religious students and Imams in Sudan’s South Darfur State, Khartoum’s Al-Sudani daily reported Thursday.
Four unidentified gunmen attacked the students and imams as they were on their way back to Manwashi area after visiting their relatives in Hamada village, the paper quoted South Darfur State Governor Adam Mahmoud Jaral-Nabi as saying.
The governor said a committee has been formed to investigate the “heinous” attack. Hamada village, some 85 km northwest of the state’s capital city of Nyala, came after repeated attacks that left dozens dead and injured 10 years ago, forcing many of its residents to flee to Manwashi area. Some of the displaced residents have recently started to return to the village. No one has claimed responsibility for the latest ambush, but Jaral-Nabi, the governor, said the attack could be perpetuated by those with interests in hampering the return of displaced villagers.
Sudanese army denies conducting airstrike in Upper Nile state
The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) has denied South Sudan allegations that its planes bombed a village in the Upper Nile state sheltering Sudanese refugees wounding six civilians.
The spokesman for the South Sudanese army (SPLA), Col. Philip Aguer, told the independent Radio Tamazuj that several bombs had been dropped on Wednesday on Maban, county’s Kortumbak area in the Upper Nile state, where more than 120,000 refugees from the neighboring Sudanese Blue Nile state have been sheltered. “It is only Sudan that is capable of using [an] Antonov in the region and there is no doubt about that,” he told Sudan Tribune when asked what evidence existed that neighboring Sudan was responsible for the latest air attack.
Sudan president guards killed at Khartoum palace
Two security guards have been killed by a man armed with a knife outside Sudan’s presidential palace in the capital Khartoum, officials say.
The attacker seized one of the guards’ weapons before other guards killed him, a presidential spokesman said. He said the man appeared to be “mentally unstable”. President Omar al-Bashir was not there at the time.
Mr Bashir first seized power in a coup in 1989, and announced last month he would run for office again next year. Press secretary Emad Ahmed said the assailant did not respond to calls to stop before he was shot dead by guards. The International Criminal Court (ICC), which Sudan does not recognise, has indicted President Bashir for genocide in the Darfur region. He denies the charges.
Sudan military role during mass rape investigation raises doubts
The heavy presence of Sudan’s military during an investigation by international peacekeepers of an alleged mass rape incident in Sudan’s western Darfur region has raised serious concerns at the Security Council, Australia’s U.N. envoy said on Monday.
Those concerns were reinforced by remarks from a U.N. official, who described the menacing atmosphere the alleged rape victims were subjected to due to the presence of Sudanese troops while they were interviewed about possible acts of sexual violence.
Last week the United Nations said Sudanese troops had denied U.N. and African Union peacekeepers access to a town in Darfur called Tabit where they wanted to investigate reports of an alleged mass rape of some 200 women and girls.
The joint U.N.-AU force in Darfur, known as UNAMID, issued a statement on Monday saying a verification team it sent to Tabit had been granted access to the village after a delay of nearly one week. UNAMID said none of those interviewed confirmed they had been raped and the investigation team found no evidence to support the allegations.
The issue was discussed by the Security Council. Australia Ambassador Gary Quinlan said U.N. special envoy on sexual violence in armed conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura and a number of council members voiced concern about the Sudanese military being present when alleged rape victims were interviewed.