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Pattaya Daily News

08 April 2007 :: 12:04:15 pm 30922

Sudan Says It Will Probe Darfur Rapes

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Sudan said Saturday it would investigate a U.N. report that government soldiers raped women in Darfur but complained the allegations weren‘t detailed enough.
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Sunday April 8, 2007 5:01 AM
Associated Press Writer

 The U.N. report, released Friday, said soldiers had raped or sexually assaulted at least 15 women in December in Darfur’s eastern Jebel Marra region. It cited testimony collected by 30 U.N. human rights investigators working in Darfur.

“We are ready to investigate whatever complaints are made against the government,” said Justice Minister Mohammed Ali al-Mardi.

But he added that many of the allegations were unsubstantiated and lacked details.

“We always seem to get sweeping generalizations, without naming the injured, without naming the offenders … or supplying us with sufficient facts,” he told a news conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where he was on a stop over on his way back to Sudan from South Africa.

The report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said rape appears to have been “used as a weapon of war to cause humiliation and instill fear in the local population.”

The agency said the victims were as young as 13 and two of the women were pregnant.

The Darfur region of western Sudan has been the scene of a bloody four-year conflict between government-backed militias and rebel forces. More than 200,000 people have been killed and at least 2.5 million driven from their homes, according to U.N. estimates.

Sudan has consistently denied claims its forces have committed war crimes in the troubled region. It has refused to work with prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague who have named a junior minister and an alleged militia leader as war crimes suspects.
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Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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