WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The unfortunate death of the four United Nations peacekeepers in Abyei whose vehicle struck a landmine on August 2nd was a regrettable incident for which Sudan offers its sincere condolences to the families of the courageous servicemen. Unfortunate still are the statements emerging from certain quarters seeking ways to somehow place the blame on the Government of Sudan by claiming that a flight clearance for the evacuation of wounded was "delayed," something they allege was the cause of death.
The information in the press statement released on August 5th by the U.S. State Department is incorrect and misleading. It can only be viewed in the context of the ongoing anti-Sudan campaign within certain circles. Permission for the aircraft in question was granted promptly. And this is proven by the fact that Sudan's permanent representative to the United Nations after the incident held timely meetings with the high level officials in charge of peacekeeping to brief and inform them on the matter and reassured the body that license was granted on time. With the UN aware of this fact, Sudan is baffled that it's becoming the scapegoat in this tragedy. Accountability lies elsewhere and it deserves thorough investigation rather than issuing statements that are inflammatory and uncalled for.
It is a despicable culture of those hostile towards Sudan who never fail to capitalize on such tragic instances to escalate their smear campaign. Important to recall is that it was with Sudan's full and enthusiastic consent that brought the troops to Abyei in the first place. It was Sudan that recognized the essential role this Ethiopian force could play in bringing about peace to the region. Their safety and wellbeing is therefore a natural concern for Sudan and will do all within its capacity to facilitate the force's mission.
Sudan reiterates its commitment to the mandate of the Interim Security Force for Abyei as articulated in the agreement that brought it to existence. Worth recalling is the fact that it was the ambush executed by the SPLA against the SAF and the UN forces that triggered the events leading to the current state of affairs. In fact these very mines that caused these unfortunate deaths were planted by the SPLA themselves. Moreover, the crisis in Southern Kordofan was also orchestrated by the SPLM-north when it refused to recognize the will of the people who voted against them in landslide elections and opted instead to pick up arms. The current operation by SAF in Southern Kordofan is strictly going after these rebels and militia. Any attempt to suggest that a particular tribe, or a civilian group is being targeted is to be guilty of ill-intent towards the Sudan. The U.S. Congress and State Department should be allies of peace with Sudan, rather than working to inflame matters. And for the United Nations to play its expected role of promoting peace it has to respect the Sovereignty of the country and desist from reneging on binding agreements as witnessed in its renewal of the resolution on the Darfur peacekeeping mission (UNAMID). A more constructive engagement would be highly appreciated by the Sudanese.
CONTACT: Embassy of Sudan Press and Information Office, phone: +1-202-338-8565, or fax: +1-202-667-2406
SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan