30/07/2004

Action will be taken if militias are not disarmed, UN warns Sudan

The UN Security Council has voted today to take action against Sudan if it does not disarm the Arab militias accused of "indiscriminate murders, rapes and other attacks" against civilians in the troubled Darfur region.

The vote, which saw two of the 15 members abstaining, has demanded that Sudan bring the leaders of Janjaweed militia to justice.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday voiced his "grave concerns" about reports of continuing intimidation, threats and attacks against internally displaced persons in Darfur.

In camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North Darfur, Sudanese government security officials are harassing residents who have spoken to foreign visitors, and have arrested and beaten several community leaders, Mr Annan said.

Mr Annan appealed to Khartoum to stick to its commitments, outlined in a 3 July joint communiqué signed with the UN, to disarm the Janjaweed and ensure the protection and security of all IDPs in Darfur.

At least 1.2 million people are estimated to be internally displaced, while as many as 200,000 others live as refugees in neighbouring Chad because of the militia attacks and the fighting between government forces and two rebel groups.

(gmcg)

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