The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European media

June 3, 2023

Reuters: Sudan aircraft bomb settlement near Chad - rebels. Sudanese aircraft bombed a town in northwest Darfur on Monday, killing two people and destroying crucial infrastructure, a spokesman for the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said on Tuesday. "There has been continuous bombardment of warplanes from the Sudan government on Furawiya town. They have specifically targeted water wells," JEM's Suleiman Sandal told Reuters by satellite phone. "Two people have been killed and 15 injured." Furawiya settlement is around 240 km (150 miles) north of West Darfur's state capital Geneina and 70 km (43 miles) from Sudan's border with Chad. Intense fighting in the Furawiya area in recent weeks has cast a shadow over stalled peace negotiations between the rebels and government in the Qatari capital Doha. JEM withdrew from two nearby settlements, Kornoi and Umm Baru, last week after heavy bombing by government planes and helicopters. Sudan's army has said 64 people were killed in fighting in Umm Baru.

IPS: Civilians Under Siege in Refugee Camps. A report by the United Nations that the Sudanese Air Force bombed northeastern Chad near a refugee camp has sparked strong condemnation from the Save Darfur Coalition (SDC) following military and paramilitary attacks over the past week. Warplanes dropped bombs near the Oure Cassoni refugee camp for people who have fled violence in Darfur on the night of Thursday, May 28, killing two Chadian nationals and injuring four, as well as killing a number of cattle, according to the U.N. mission in Chad, MINURCAT. The attacks have forced the U.N. and other organisations to suspend their humanitarian movements in and around the Oure Cassoni camp. The SDC sees the bombing of the Chadian refugee camp as a part of a larger, unacceptable trend by the government. "It is past time for the United States and other world leaders to coordinate their messages and present Khartoum with a choice," SDC President Jerry Fowler said. "Either readmit previously expelled aid groups and make concrete steps toward peace, or continue obstructing peace and endangering civilians." The latter choice, the SDC says, would lead to "real and meaningful consequences from the international community, including diplomatic isolation, targeted economic sanctions and an effective and expanded arms embargo."

Reuters: INTERVIEW-ICC looking at child soldier issue in Darfur. The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said on Tuesday that he was looking closely at charges child soldiers have been used by militias in Sudan's conflict-torn western Darfur region. Last December the United Nations children fund UNICEF said that up to 6,000 child soldiers, some as young as 11, have been recruited by rebels and government forces in Darfur. "We are monitoring the child soldier crimes," ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters in an interview. Moreno-Ocampo said he had not yet decided whether to press for further indictments in Darfur related to allegations of child soldier recruitment. He is currently seeking the prosecution of six Sudanese men for crimes in Darfur, including President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. "Before we do any new case I will inform the Security Council in advance of what are my plans," he said. Moreno-Ocampo will brief the Security Council on Friday on his activities related to Sudan.

Reuters: U.S. funds face renewed divestment calls on Sudan. The three largest U.S. mutual fund firms face a wave of shareholder proposals this summer calling on them to divest from companies doing business in Sudan over human rights concerns. The votes expected at funds operated by Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group Inc, and at one of Capital Group Cos' American Funds, are unusual because unlike public companies, most mutual funds rarely hold shareholder meetings except for administrative reasons. "This is laying the groundwork for an interesting set of battles this summer," said Eric Cohen, chair of Investors Against Genocide, a Boston-based nonprofit group proposing the nonbinding measures. The proposals call on companies to avoid or to sell shares in companies that "substantially contribute" to egregious human rights violations. In practice they point to companies such as PetroChina, whose parent China National Petroleum has been blamed by activists for paying royalties to the Sudanese government, widely criticized for abuses in the country's western Darfur region.

The Darfur Daily News is a service of the Save Darfur Coalition. To subscribe to the Daily News, please email [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Roberts at (202) 478-6181, or [email protected].

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