January 12, 2008
Modifications negatively affect content
Late on Monday, armed men opened fire on a convoy of more than 20 "white, clearly marked" United Nations/African Union vehicles traveling towards the west Darfur town of Tine. The attackers fired light weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the UNAMID supply convoy for up to 12 minutes, severely injuring a civilian driver and damaging a diesel truck and an armoured personnel carrier.
Soon after, the Sudanese Army's area commander called the peacekeeping UN/AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to admit the attackers were from the Sudanese army.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that the attackers were from the Sudanese army.
On Wednesday, Sudan's ambassador to the U.N. Abdelmahmoud Abdelhalim Mohamed told reporters the attackers were not from the Sudanese Army.
On Thursday, Sudan's defence minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein told the independent newspaper Assahafa that the attakers were from the Sudanese Army.
On Friday, Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told me over the telephone that the attackers were not from the Sudanese Army.
About half an hour after the call, the Office of the Spokesman for the Armed Forces told Sudan's state news agency Suna that the attackers were from the Sudanese Army.
How to reconcile these apparently conflicting statements?
Step forward the The Office of the Minister of National Defence which released the following clarfying statement on Saturday:
Office of Minister of National Defence describes information reported by some media on incident of UNAMID troops in Darfur as subjected to modifications negatively affecting its content
Khartoum, Jan. 11 (SUNA) - The Office of the Minister of National Defence has issued a statement in which it described information reported by some international and local media attributed to statement by the Minister and other statements on the incident of the peace-keeping mission in Darfur, UNAMID, at Tina area in Darfur Monday as subjected to some modifications negatively affecting its content, pointing out that some hostile circles utilized them to serve their known objectives. The statement affirmed that it is not of the policy of the government to attack any peacekeeping troops. The statement stressed that the statement of the Minister of Defence did not refer to attack by the Armed Forces on the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, but it referred to an accident in movement of UNAMID troops in an area witnessing security tension and hostile movements from a number of parties, pointing out that these hostilities and movements was supported by the statement issued by UNAMID itself in this regard, which did not specify any certain party behind the incident. The statement pointed out that the Armed Forces had been in defensive positions and not attacking ones, adding that this conforms with what has been explained by the office of the official spokesman of the Armed Forces at the time, who denied that the Armed Forces had attacked the mission and the Sudan Mission to the United Nations also pointed to this. The statement affirmed that it is not the policy of the government to attack peacekeeping troops in the country, a matter that is proved by the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in the southern Sudan and Darfur Peace Agreement, where no such precedent was recorded against the Armed Forces. The statement went on to say that the Armed Forces had continued to support the troops of the African Union to accomplish its mission, as proved by the Armed Forces containing to the attack the African troops had been subjected to at Haskanita area, where the Armed Forces conducted medical evacuation operations and extended protection and logistic support to the personnel of the mission. The statement pointed out that the government and UNAMID had already agreed on joint investigation of the issue, adding that this come at the proposal of the government, a matter that affirms its confidence in the correctness of its position, a matter that was welcomed by the United Nations.
So, at last, the matter is settled.
Posted by aheavens at January 12, 2008 3:41 PM