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EMPTY PROMISES: DARFUR

Chronology of events - July 14, 2004 by Marina Peter 1955 - Disorder breaks out in the south on the eve of independence. 1956 - Sudan becomes independent. 1958 - Gen Ibrahim Abbud leads military coup against the civilian government elected earlier in the year. 1962 - Anya Nya movement assumes control of southern revolt. 1964 - The "October Revolution" overthrows Abbud and a national government is established. 1969 - Ja'far Numayri leads the "May Revolution" military coup. 1972 - Under the Addis Ababa peace agreement between the government and the Anya Nya the south becomes a self-governing region. 1978 - Oil discovered in Bentiu in southern Sudan. 1983 - Numayri divides the south into three regions. Islamic shari'ah imposed in the north. Civil war breaks out again in the south involving government forces and the newly formed Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), led by John Garang. 1985 - Numayri is deposed in a bloodless military coup by a group of military officers and a Transitional Military Council set up to rule the country. 1986 - Coalition government formed after general elections, with Sadiq al-Mahdi as prime minister. 1988 - Coalition partner the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) reaches ceasefire agreement with the SPLM/A, but it is not implemented. 1989 - Operation Lifeline Sudan established. Sadiq al-Mahdi accepts DUP-SPLM/A agreement. Sadiq al-Mahdi is deposed in a bloodless military coup led by Brig (later Lt-Gen) Umar Hasan al-Bashir, who rules through Revolution Command Council (RCC). 1991 - SPLM/A splits into two factions with John Garang supporting a united Sudan and Riek Machar, Lam Akol, and Gordon Kong Chuol, who support southern succession, breaking away to form SPLM/A-Nasir faction. 1992 - Nigerian peace conferences (Abuja I and II) held, but little progress made. 1993 - RCC dissolved after Umar Hasan al-Bashir is appointed president. 1994 - Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) starts peace process and establishes a Declaration of Principles (DoP). 1995 - Egyptian President Husni Mubarak accuses Sudan of being involved in an attempt to assassinate him in Addis Ababa. 1995 - Asmara Declaration of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) acknowledges right of southern Sudan to self-determination and calls for separation of state and religion and armed struggle to overthrow the ruling National Islamic Front regime. 1997 - Sudanese government accepts IGAD DoP and agrees to discuss self-determination for the south. Khartoum Peace Agreement signed between the government, the South Sudan Independence Movement of Riek Machar and other rebel factions. 1998 - Ethiopian-Eritrean war breaks out, reducing conflict with Sudan. USA launches cruise missile attack on a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, alleging that it was making materials for chemical weapons. 1999 - Bashir dissolves the National Assembly and declares a state of emergency following a power struggle with parliamentary Speaker Hasan al-Turabi. 1999 - Sudan begins to export oil. 2000 October - IGAD Lake Bogoria, Kenya, talks. 2001 February - Islamist leader Hasan al-Turabi arrested and placed under house arrest a day after his party, the Popular National Congress, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the SPLM/A. 2001 July - Joint Libyan-Egyptian Initiative establishes a DoP calling for an all-party transitional government, but does not deal with the issue of self-determination for the south. Sudanese government accepts DoP without reservation and SPLM/A accepts with conditions. 2001 September - UN Security Council lifts largely symbolic sanctions against Sudan which involved a ban on diplomatic travel. They were imposed in 1996 over accusations that Sudan harboured suspects in an attempt on the life of Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, but US continues its sanctions. 2001 October - US President George W. Bush names Senator John Danforth as special envoy to try help end Sudanese conflict. 2001 November - US extends unilateral sanctions against Sudan, citing its record on terrorism and rights violations. 2002 January - The government and the SPLM/A sign a landmark ceasefire agreement providing for a six-month renewable ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains region of south-central Sudan. 2002 January - Riek Machar realigns part of his Sudan People's Democratic Forces with SPLM/A. 2002 May - The now leader of the Justice and Equality movement (JEM), Dr Khalil Ibrahim, announces the formation of JEM and warns of taking up arms if armed attacks on Africans in Darfur will not stop in a public conference. 2002 July - After weeks of talks in Kenya, the government and the SPLM/A sign the Machakos protocol covering self-determination for the south, state and religion and ending the 19-year civil war. Under the agreement, southern Sudan will be able to hold an independence referendum after a six-and-a-half-year power-sharing transition period, while the north is allowed to keep shari'ah law. 2002 July - President al-Bashir and SPLM/A leader Garang meet face to face for the first time, through the mediation of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. 2002 September - Government breaks off talks, saying the SPLM/A's seizure of the southern town of Torit spoiled the atmosphere of talks, and that the SPLM/A had reopened the issue of the separation of state and religion by demanding that Khartoum be shari'ah free. 2002 October - The government and the SPLM/A sign an MoU, agreeing to resume talks, and to implement a cessation of hostilities for the duration of talks. Talks resume. 2002 November - Cessation of hostilities agreement extended. MoU signed on 'Aspects of Structures of Government'. Talks adjourned until January 2003. 2003 January - Talks resume in Nairobi suburb of Karen. Plans also made for a separate symposium to be held dealing with the issue of the disputed border territories of southern Blue Nile, Abyei, and the Nuba Mountains. 2003 January - UN negotiates separate bilateral agreements with the SPLM/A and the Sudanese government to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid into the disputed region of southern Blue Nile for the first time. 2003 February - Government, rebels sign addendum to MoU on cessation of hostilities. 2003 February - A new rebel group calling itself the Front for the Liberation of Darfur is launched. Justice and Equality Movement rebels also emerge. Government retaliates including air bombardment. 2003 March - Darfur rebels adopt new name: Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A). 2003 March - Talks held on the three disputed border regions of Abyei, Nuba Mountains, and southern Blue Nile. 2003 April - SPLM/A and government agree to the opening of corridor along River Nile to facilitate humanitarian access. 2003 April/May - Rebels attack El Fasher and other towns; fighting and bombardments escalate Khalil announces possibility of fights spreading into Kordofan, Eastern and Northern Sudan in a public conference. 2003 May – IGAD Talks resume with the signing of partnership agreement on administrative arrangements for the transition period, which outlines specific measures necessary for building up the humanitarian, security and development needs of southern Sudan during the first six months of the transitional period. 2003 June - Crisis in Darfur begins to further deteriorate with widespread displacement, refugees fleeing into Chad, killing and burning down of villages by government-allied militias. 2003 August - The worst flooding in 70 years hits Kassala region, eastern Sudan. President Omar el-Bashir once again announces the censorship and restrictions on newspapers would be lifted.. 2003 September - Government and SPLM/A sign security deal, clearing major stumbling block to peace talks. Government and the SLM/A sign cease fire agreement, brokered by Chad, to pave way for peace talks on Darfur. 2003 October - Government releases Islamist leader Hasan al-Turabi. Lam Akol merges SPLM/A-United faction with SPLM/A. 2003 October - Government and SLM/A agree to extend ceasefire while they pursue negotiations in neighbouring Chad. 2003 November - Concern mounts over worsening Darfur humanitarian crisis. UN says Sudanese government is hampering humanitarian intervention by reneging on a pledge to process aid workers' travel permits speedily. 2003 December - Chad mediated talks between the government and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) led to a nominal ceasefire from September to December, but then broke down indefinitely amid mutual recriminations. Both the SLA and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have repeatedly said the presence of international mediators was a precondition to further talks. Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir vowes to annihilate the Darfur rebels Peace talks between government and SLA, break down indefinitely amid mutual recriminations. Security situation in Darfur deteriorates significantly as a result. The government and the NDA sign an agreement in Jiddah supporting the peace process between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), and called for a new democratic Sudan benefiting all political parties. There is no formal ceasefire between the government and the NDA, which comprises a number of political parties, trade unions, armed factions and other groups, including the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the SPLM/A, the General Council of the Trade Union Federations, the Beja Congress, the Free Lions Association, the SLA, the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party, and the Sudanese Communist Party. Government and SPLM/A negotiators agree in principle on sharing oil revenues. SPLM/A sends the first-ever high-profile "goodwill delegation" to meet government officials in Khartoum. January to July 9, 2004 January GOS and SPLM/A sign an accord on sharing the country's wealth during the six-and-a-half-year transitional period to follow the signing of a peace deal. Peace talks with SPLM/A adjourned for three weeks to allow government delegates Daily bombing raids on villages in Darfur killing hundreds of civilians and causing thousands more to flee across the border into neighbouring Chad. Sudanese bombs fall on the Chadian border town of Tine, killing three Chadian civilians. January 6 Britain denies suggestions it was stoking the conflict between the Sudanese government and rebels in the western Darfur region, adding it only sought to ease the humanitarian crisis there. The statement responded to a commentary in the official Al-Anbaa newspaper and other dailies accusing Britain of trying to internationalise the rebellion in the west to help southern rebels in their peace negotiations with Khartoum January 13 Aid workers are unable to reach about one million people who are seriously affected by fighting in western Sudan, a United Nations official says. Sudanese government planes have bombed the town of Tine in Sudan's western Darfur region, killing 45 people, "most of them children, women and the elderly" a diplomat in Chad says. "The bombardment comes after an ultimatum made a few days ago by the Sudanese authorities, demanding that the town of Tine be evacuated, failing which they would raze the town," the diplomat said. January 20 Sudan's foreign minister says his government is committed to finding a political settlement to the problem of Darfur region, even though it was now forced to resort to the military option. "The government remains committed to reaching a political solution to the problem of Darfur, but it is now forced to pursue security and military measures," Mustafa Ismail told reporters. January 21 The minister of external relations, Dr Mustafa Uthman Isma'il, with regard to the Chadian envoy who is currently in Khartoum, said the Chadian government was still appealing for reconciliation between the government and the rebels in Darfur, western Sudan. He said: "We do not reject this because the government's strategy to resolve the Darfur problem is a political one and the government took military and security steps since it was forced to do so." Meanwhile, North Darfur State Governor Osman Yousuf Kibir was reported as announcing that government troops on Tuesday night "forced their way into Ein Seru area, defeated the rebels and killed their commander Yahia Libis." "The situation is now under control, as security in the region is maintained," according to Kibir, who was quoted by the Sudan Media Centre, which is close to the government. "The outlaws have no cause but are sheer gangs of armed robbery," Kibir said. By the end of next month "promising results related to security will be reached," he said without elaborating. However, the governor said the Khartoum government was also "committed to dialogue for reaching a peaceful settlement to the Darfur problem." January 22 The Sudanese government says its forces were winning the war against rebels in western Sudan's Darfur region, as another rebel field commander was Thursday reported killed. "The war in Darfur will stop in days and by then peace will be restored and life will return to normal," President Omar al-Beshir predicted . January 24 Ahmed Ibrahim Diriage, the leader of the Sudan Federal Alliance, one of the opposition groups in Darfur, has reportedly agreed to an immediate ceasefire in the country's Darfur region. He was quoted at a meeting with Sudanese First Vice-President Ali Osman Taha in Nairobi Friday as saying the end to blood letting was a prerequisite for the resumption of peace negotiations with the Khartoum government.(note: the group does not have any considerable troops, Direige, aFur, was governor in Darfur until 1984, is living in exile ever since, but still has some political influence) At the meeting, both sides agreed that violence would not solve Sudan's problems, which they classified as both political and economic in nature, the statement added. Taha insists that government is ready for talks with the rebels and would work hard for peace, the statement added. January 25 The government has lifted a ban on Sudan's oldest independent newspaper, and Al-Ayam will reappear next month, a government press body says. The English-language Khartoum Monitor remains suspended (was reopened in late March, but suspended again 2 times) January 29 The Sudanese government announces it reopened corridors for trucks and aircraft to deliver aid to the embattled province of Darfur. The state minister at the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Mohammed Youssef Moussa, brushed aside reports of ongoing insurgency in the western province, The Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs said aid groups could return to Darfur on Friday (30). A ministry statement named nine towns and their surrounding districts as being accessible: Ambro, el-Fasher, Genaina, Kornoy, Kulbus, Kutum, Morne, Tine and Zalinge. The statement, which was broadcast on state radio, didn't specify which towns could be reached by land or only by air. "We have moral and political responsibility and we are shouldering it," Moussa said, referring to the rebellion. February UNHCR announces it has begun moving Sudanese refugees on Chadian side of border to safer areas inside Chad. UN Special Envoy Tom Eric Vraalsen arrives in Khartoum, to follow up on President Bashir's promise to grant humanitarian access to millions of war-affected civilians in Darfur. A possible final round of Sudanese peace talks between the government and the SPLM/A resumes in Naivasha. Remaining issues are the three disputed areas of southern Blue Nile, Nuba mountains and Abyei and power-sharing arrangements during the interim period. Arab League holds its investment forum for southern Sudan to promote unity of the country. JEM and SLM/A say they will not attend peace conference proposed by Sudanese government. SLA joins the National Democratic Alliance, an umbrella of opposition and armed groups with headquarters in Asmara. February 5 Three Sudanese rebel groups say they were ready to hold peace talks with the government to end months of fighting. In a joint statement, the Sudanese Liberation Movement, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance said they would participate in two days of talks at the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, beginning Feb. 14. "The seriousness and the scale of the humanitarian situation can no longer be ignored," the statement said. In a statement broadcast on state-run Sudan Radio, Lt. Gen. Muhammed Bashir Suleyman, the army spokesman, denied foreign media accounts and Amnesty International reports that government aircraft bombed civilian targets.An Associated Press journalist witnessed several bombing raids on villages in Darfur, and refugees who fled to neighboring Chad repeatedly described attacks and bombings by government forces. Suleyman also said the government would seek a negotiated end to the fighting in southwestern Sudan. February 9 President Bashir formally declares victory over rebel groups in Darfur, announces an end to the main military operations there, offers amnesty to rebels and promises safe humanitarian passage to the region. Rebel SLM/A and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) dismiss government claims of victory and launch new offensive. Press release by GOS: Today, President Omer Bashir issued a statement about the situation in Darfur in which he declared the following: 1. An end to military operations in the entire region of Darfur 2. General amnesty to all those who possess and carry arms, provided that the arms are handed over to authorities within a month from today 3. A plan to alleviate the suffering of displaced persons and other affected by the recent conflict will be enforced immediately 4. Unfettered access to humanitarian aid from national and international governmental as well as non-governmental organisations, is granted via safe corridors 5. Authorities have been instructed to arrange for the return of refugees from the Republic of Chad, in co-operation with the United Nations High commission for Refugees and the Government of Chad. 6. All weapons will be collected, from individuals and groups, by the National Armed Forces, and only the national Armed forces will have the authority to control the arms in the region. 7. Formation of a National Reconciliation Commission, which will consist of a diverse mix of tribal, religious, social, and political groups. The purpose of the commission is to strengthen the social fabric of the region through peace oriented plans. 8. Federal ministries were instructed to devise a comprehensive plan of development in collaboration with state governments. 9. A call for a conference that comprehensively redresses all grievances in the region, including in its scope those citizens who are covered under general amnesty; President Bashir made the commitment that the federal government would apply all recommendations and plans laid out in the conference. February 14 The EU delegation ended their visit to Northern Darfur State to assess its security and humanitarian situations. The governor of Northern Darfur State, Osman Yusuf Kibir, met the two delegations and confirmed the state enjoyed an overall security and stability. Sudan's government has refused to take part in talks with rebels on February 14 and 15 in Geneva whihc were proposed by a Swiss non-governmental organisation and another European Darfur organisation. 16 February Humanitarian access to western Sudan's war-torn Darfur region remains limited despite government claims to have opened relief routes, say humanitarian sources. "There is absolutely no access to any place, no humanitarian access," said the advocacy group Refugees International, quoting an agency trying to bring supplies to Darfur. "Things are not changing at all. If they are changing, they are changing for the worse." The week before, President Umar Hasan al-Bashir declared victory over the Darfur-based rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, promising to unlock humanitarian access to the region. 19 February United Nations says that a team of its experts had arrived in Sudan to assess the humanitarian needs in war-affected Darfur region of western Sudan, while front-line UN agencies had begun delivering and pre-positioning food and other supplies for 250,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). A statement from the Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi, confirmed that transporting and distributing relief to the affected people in Darfur through "the safe corridors specified by the government" had commenced. OCHA, however, warned that because the region remained highly volatile for both civilians and the humanitarian community, reaching the majority of those who needed help remained difficult. "This assistance is long overdue," Jan Egeland, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in a statement. "However, we are still not reaching the majority of those in need," he added.OCHA said the security situation outside the three capital towns of Darfur remained of particular concern, access to most areas being impaired by daily incidents of "militarised violence" on major roads routes. There had been increased incidences of systematic disruption of railroads and communications lines, while concerns over landmines and unexploded ordnance, constituted a new problem in Darfur, it added. Tom Vraalsen, the UN special envoy for humanitarian affairs to Sudan, who visited the capital, Khartoum, and Darfur this week, urged the parties to the conflict to cease hostilities. He also asked the Sudanese authorities to keep their promises on unimpeded access to the populations in need. The United States-based human rights advocacy group, Center for the Prevention of Genocide (CPG) said it had confirmed that tribal leaders in Nyala were arrested by the government after they had met representatives of the US international development agency, USAID. The arrests, it said, were made after representatives of the Fur tribe met the US officials to provide the latter with first-hand accounts of the "genocidal violence" and humanitarian crisis in Darfur. "In a clear case of minority and political oppression, the leaders were arrested in the town of Nyala, following their meeting with representatives from USAID," CPG said in a statement. February 20 French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin arrives in Khartoum, claiming to search for a way for France to help Sudan end the Darfur rebellion that he says threatens regional stability. 21 February President of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) Dr Jakob Kellenberger, is due to visit Sudan early March to hold talks with the Sudanese officials on the role of the ICRC in the post-peace Sudan. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mustafa Osman Ismail, said the visit of Dr Kellenberger to Sudan comes to discuss the ICRC activities in Sudan as well as the role expected to be played by the ICRC in the period of peace in Darfur and other areas. 23 February President El Bashir announces the opening of corridors for humanitarian aid to some areas to which civilians have escaped, after weeks during which humanitarian workers had virtually no access. 26 February Roger Winter says that "despite the comments of President Bashir and the government generally, the war is still raging in Darfur. And it is still the case that government-connected militias are attacking the African populations of the Darfur area." "What feeds into the ethnic cleansing scenario is that the government does not seem to be interested in protecting the Darfur people against the raids... It seems that no real steps are being taken by the government to stop the uprooting and attacking of these civilian populations," he added. The EU announces it is "alarmed at reports that Janjawid militias continue to systematically target villages and centres for IDPs [internally displaced persons] in their attacks". Rebels from the two main groups have dismissed government claims of military victory. They said they had opened a new front in the Kordofan region, neighboring Darfur.. Humanitarian sources have reported ambushes in Western Kordofan in recent days, while Reuters news agency reported an SLA attack on Tuesday in El Obeid (Al-Ubayyid), the capital of Northern Kordofan. A spokesman for the JEM, Abu Bakr Hamid al-Nur, said JEM was actively recruiting in Kordofan and that many individuals were coming forward. "We will merge with any organisation in the marginalised areas." The government of Sudan has suspended contact with an umbrella opposition group, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), because it has allowed the rebel group SLA from Darfur to join its ranks. The government spokesman, Sa'id Khatib, said that the government had suspended all contacts with the NDA because the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) was now one of its members. "We have suspended all contacts until the NDA clarifies why it has brought a fighting group on board," he said. "Fighting and dialogue do not go together." 27 February Humanitarian Assistance Minister Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid said aid could now reach all of Northern Darfur state. "Major roads to all parts of Northern Darfur are now open for moving humanitarian aid to all areas in Northern Darfur state up to Al-Geneina," the minister said. MSF said its teams were constantly discovering new groups of families forced to flee by fighting in Darfur, including a band of 17,000 people recently sighted northwest of the settlement of Mornay in western Sudan. The government of Sudan may be willing to accept new mediation efforts to resolve the Darfur conflict in the west of the country, according to Sa'id Khatib, the official government spokesman. "There are initiatives that the government is examining and talking [about] with the initiators," Khatib mentioned. He said both the EU and the US had come forward, and that a new mediation was a possibility. GOS announces a peace conference in Khartoum is being organised for March, which the rebels say they will not attend. Meanwhile, there are repeated reports of continuing attacks on civilians by government-aligned forces in Darfur. Armed horsemen and the Sudanese army killed at least 67 people, abducted 16 schoolgirls and raped others in front of their families during an attack in Northern Darfur, according to the UN. Residents of the town of Tawilah described a well-organised attack by "horsemen and military" on 27 February, the latest report of the UN Darfur Task Force issued on Thursday said. March March 2 15 people were reportedly killed and 30 injured in an area about 15 km from Nyala, the capital of Southern Darfur State. There are also reports that attacks by the army and the Janjawid attacks are on the increase in Southern Darfur, with internally displaced persons (IDPs) fearing for their lives, and women and girls being "branded" on their hands after being raped. March 3 U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers issues an urgent appeal to Sudanese leaders to open talks with rebels in Sudan's west, warning of "terrible" violence there. He calls on the Khartoum government to disarm Arab militiamen who for months had been terrorising people in the Darfur region March 4 A senior member of Sudan's Islamist opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP), Beshir Adam Rahmah, has been arrested at his Khartoum home and taken to an undisclosed location. The party maintains that 14 of its leading members are among 120 political detainees held across Sudan, including 100 in the troubled western region of Darfur, nine of whom are senior PCP officials. March 9 According to the Sudanese government, the Darfur region is calm,with 9,000 refugees returning to the area from camps in neighbouring Chad over the past few days, according to the report.But rebel forces are denying that Darfur is stable, saying they arefighting an Arab militia known as Janjaweed, in addition to the army. March 31 Sudan's opposition leader, Hassan Abdullah al-Turabi, has been arrested again, three days after the government launched a crackdown on military officers whom it accused of plotting a coup. April April 1 JEM announces withdrawal from the peace negotiations in N’Djamena for the reason of the denial of the Chadian Authorities to grant entry visas for its political delegation which has been camping in Paris for several days awaiting entry clearance. April 6 Sudanese Justice Minister Ali Mohammed Yassin has promised a "fair and public" trial for Islamic opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi, arrested last week for his alleged involvement in a coup attempt, local media reports said Tuesday.(Turabi and the rest are still in detention without trial, and sre meanwhile on hungerstrike) April 7 Kofi Annan is warning outside military action may be needed to stop what he calls ethnic cleansing in the strife-torn Darfur region in western Sudan. "It is vital that international humanitarian workers and human rights experts be given full access without further delay," he said. "They need to get to the victims, They need to get to those who need help. If that is denied, the international community must be prepared to take swift and appropriate action." Mr. Annan warns the international community cannot stand idle in the face of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Darfur.Sudan's foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, says Sudan does not need military help in Darfur, but his government would welcome humanitarian aid. April 8 The government signes cease-fire with the rebels, The interim deal struck in the Chadian capital Ndjamena calls for a renewable 45-day truce, free access for humanitarian aid, the release of prisoners and the disarmament by Khartoum of the armed militias fighting alongside government troops in Darfur. During his visit last week, Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ibrahim Hamid appealed to international relief groups to help. Sudanese officials said U.N. human rights investigators who arrived in the country last week would have free access to Darfur The UN Secretary-General welcomes today's signing of the humanitarian cease-fire agreement Annan's spokesman said in a statement."He trusts this agreement will result in an immediate cessation of hostilities and an end to attacks against civilians, as well as full humanitarian access to all people in need of assistance and protection." April 11 Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail, who accompanied President Al-Bashir to visit Chad, says that "Presidents Al-Bashir and Deby stressed their commitment to implementing the N'djamena ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese government and the rebels in Darfur and delivery of humanitarian aid to affected citizens in the region." April13 At its fifth session, the AU Peace and Security Council requests the Chairperson to dispatch a reconnaissance mission to Darfur to ensure the early setting up and deployment of the Ceasefire Commission established by the ceasefire agreement between SLA/JEM and GOS.. Sudan is preventing a UN team from entering the country to probe alleged atrocities by government-backed militias. The UN human rights team has been in neighbouring Chad for the past week, interviewing Sudanese refugees who fled across the border to escape alleged ethnic cleansing by Arab militia in the western Darfur region. But Sudanese authorities, despite promises of safe passage for international aid, were not allowing the investigators to cross into the strife-torn area itself following a ceasefire agreed with Darfur rebels last week, UN human rights spokesman Jose Diaz said in Geneva. The 45-day ceasefire agreement between the warring parties in Sudan's western Darfur region is in question as the partiesto the conflict have begun blaming each other for violating the truce they signed April 8..Ismail promised to let already established ceasefire mechanisms consider the violation, referring to the role the African Union currently is playing on the issue of Darfur. April19 To operationalise the Ceasefire Commission, the AU Commission convenes a technical meeting 19-20 April in Addis Ababa to discuss modalities for dispatching a reconnaissance to Darfur to pave the way for the deployment of African observers. April 16 Rebels in Sudan's western Darfur region say government-backed Arab militias have broken a recent ceasefire agreement and as a consequence they may pull out of planned peace talks. April 22 In a TV interview, Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said the janajaweed ``took up arms to defend themselves'' against rebel attacks. West Darfur Governor Adam Sulieman has said any atrocities are the work of ``bandits, outlaws and rebels.'' April 23 After delays, the UN human rights panel adopts a mildly worded text on alleged atrocities carried out by pro-government forces in Darfur. The Chairperson's Statement calls on all parties to the conflict to respect the ceasefire, grant access to humanitarian organizations and sets up an Independent Expert to report back on human rights situation to the General Assembly and next year's session of the Commission. April 24 Sudan's foreign minister Ismail acknowledges that there had been human rights violations in the strife-torn Darfur region,but denies that there was any "ethnic cleansing." Mustafa Ismail spoke after Khartoum welcomed a U.N. human rights panel's mildly worded text on suspected government-backed atrocities in the region, which was adopted over U.S. objections. April 25 Chad's President Idriss Deby joined representatives of the Khartoum government and two rebel groups after a day's break during which mediators drew up a synthesis of the proposals made by each warring party. The African Union (AU) has expressed concern over the violation of the humanitarian ceasefire agreement in Sudan`s Darfur Region as the continental body was preparing to monitor its implementation. AU Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare has called on the opposing sides in the Darfur conflict to ensure the speedy deployment of the observer team in the area. April 29 Chadian troops have reportedly clashed with Sudanese soldiers after Khartoum-backed Arab militias crossed into Chad to attack refugees from Sudan.Quoting official Chadian sources, the BBC reported that after the militia attack on refugees inside Chad, Chadian troops pursued the militiamen back into Sudan. Chadian soldiers then skirmished with Sudanese troops. May African nations have ensured that Sudan will keep its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission. May 1 The United Nations warns that the crisis in Darfur, western Sudan, will worsen dramatically unless security there is immediately improved and humanitarian agencies have better access to those in need. May 5 Fighting has erupted between Sudanese government forces and rebels in western Sudan despite a cease-fire signed last month to halt the conflict, Sudanese military and security sources said on Wednesday.The sources say that clashes around Abu Gamra, about 45 km (28 miles) north of the town of Kebkabiya, involved forces commanded by Sudan's army. May 6 Fighting in Sudan's Darfur region has spilled over into Chad, where the army has clashed with pro-Sudanese government militias, Chad says. May 9 Chad's defense minister has accused Arab militiamen of crossing the border from western Sudan to carry out fresh raids on Chadian soil. Emmanuel Nadingar says Chadian troops clashed with hundreds of Sudanese fighters last Wednesday, after the militias attacked a village. He says 60 members of the janjaweed militia were killed in the fighting. Nadingar also warned Chad will not tolerate further attacks by the fighters, and vowed to defend Chad's people and the border. May 16 Sudan announcess to monitor unnamed non-governmental organisations (NGOs) accused of having supported rebels in west Sudan's Darfur region, Interior Minister Abdel Rahim Hussein and Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid says that some of the hundreds of NGOs operating in Darfur region "used humanitarian operations as a cover for carrying out a hidden agenda and proved to have supported the rebellion in the past period". For this reason, "the authorities will be careful in permitting such NGOs to operate in Darfur," Hamid said. A press conference was called to announce the dispatch of a new police unit to Darfur, Hussein said the force, whose strength he refrained from disclosing, had a high level of training and was equipped with modern weapons and 130 vehicles. "The police force is going there to enforce law and order and to protect the people of Darfur and their property," he said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a memo to the Chairman of the African Union Commission and the Chadian mediator putting forward violations of the rebellions to the agreement of Cease-fire in Darfur. Libyan leader Moammad Kadhafi has described the fighting among rival factions in Sudan's western Darfur region as nothing but "senseless squabbles among local tribes over pastures." "In Darfur, there is no ideological conflict, no fight among classes. Nothing explains the situation there. This is no war, but small feuds over pastures," the Libyan revolutionary leader declared Saturday at the opening of the 6th summit of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD). May 17 The United States denounce the Sudanese government for issuing US relief workers with "useless" travel permits for the strife-torn region of Darfur that effectively prevent them from leaving Khartoum. The State Department says 11 members of a US disaster response team now in the capital had been granted three-day passes to visit Darfur after intense pressure from Washington but noted that the gesture was hollow because the Sudanese government requires 72 hours advance notice before travelling. The government said on Monday that Darfur was now stable and security would be maintained by police. May 21 The inaugural meeting of a key commission mandated to oversee a humanitarian ceasefire in the war-ravaged region of Darfur in western Sudan, has been postponed, the African Union announces. The two-day meeting of the Darfur Ceasefire Commission is set to work out details for monitoring, investigating and verifying allegations of violations of the humanitarian ceasefire agreement. The commission, in which the AU will play a leading role, was meant to hold its first meeting in Addis Ababa this weekend. "We were supposed to set in motion a ceasefire commission to observe the (April 8) ceasefire agreement in Darfur. However representatives of the rebel groups were unable to make it to Ethiopia due to logistical problems, as they put it," AU Peace and Security Commissioner Said Djinit told a news conference in Addis Ababa. "We are now postponing the meeting to May 26 and 27," he added. May 22 After a meeting with the UN general secretary, GOS agreed among other things that as from coming Monday (24) 1. All Sudanese embassies and consulates will be instructed to issue visas within 48 hours for all humanitarian workers employed by UN agencies, donors, the Red Cross/Red Crescent and NGOs. 2. The permit requirement for internal travel to and within Darfur will be waived. All humanitarian personnel with visas will only have to notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of travel to Darfur. 3. Procedures will be put in place that will facilitate the importation of equipment and supplies. Allegedly, all warring parties have been using the time of cease fire for more recruitment and getting more equipment. It also seems, some Janjaweed, (who not only consist of Sudanese nationals) have been put into rank and files of the GOS army. May 23 Arab militiamen have killed at least 56 people in a raid in western Sudan, villagers say, just days after the government declared the troubled region stable. The militiamen, known as janjaweed, raided Abga Rajil village 50 km (30 miles) south of Nyala town on Saturday, witnesses said. May 25 SPLM and GOS sign a framework for peace in Naivasha May 28 Sudanese from both north and southern Sudan in Khartoum wave the flag of the rebel SPLA in celebration after the signing of protocols that pave the way for a peace deal Sudan's government says its moves toward a final deal with southern rebels this week will help to end a separate conflict in the western province of Darfur. Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha said at a rally in Khartoum,his government will now double its efforts to bring peace to Darfur. "One of the first fruits of peace will be the extinguishing of the conflict in Darfur," Mr Ali OsmanTaha said."We will begin tomorrow to focus our efforts, to turn over the page of war in Darfur as the page of conflict and killing was turned over in the south," he said. May 29 Sudan's government and the two main rebel groups fighting in Darfur agreed on Friday to allow international observers to monitor a ceasefire, as reports alledge a fresh aerial attack in west Sudan. Witnesses say that 12 people were killed when an Antonov plane and helicopters bombed the village of Tabit, about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of al-Fashir, the capital of Northern Darfur state, on market day. The deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa provides for an international Darfur ceasefire commission including representatives from the African Union, European Union, Khartoum government and the two main Darfur rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement. The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, Said Djinnit, said the first seven military observers would go to Darfur next week. The AU's Peace and Security Council said at its launch on Tuesday in Addis Ababa that it would soon send an observer mission composed of 60 military officials and about 30 civilians to five flashpoints in Darfur to monitor ceasefire violations. June June 2 Sudan says relief organizations are now free to enter the troubled western Darfur region after notifying authorities, the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry said Wednesday. The announcement, a change from rules set up in May that required first applying for travel authorization, was apparently part of Sudan's efforts to streamline humanitarian aid and a response to complaints of delays and lack of full cooperation from the government. "Measures for granting entry visa to Sudan within 48 hours of submission of application should continue and no travel authorization to Darfur is demanded, only a notification is requested," said the statement by the ministry's technical committee, which had been formed to facilitate humanitarian action in Darfur. Western relief organizations and governments, including the U.S. administration, have complained of delays and of a lack of full cooperation for delivery of relief to some one million people in Western Sudan before the rainy season lands in full force in a few weeks. June 3 Senior officials from donor countries, the Sudanese government, rebel groups and UN aid agencies meet in Geneva in a donors conference for the Darfur region. Participants at the high-level meeting are expected to discuss increasing an appeal launched earlier in the year for 140 million dollars for relief efforts in Darfur and a further 30 million dollars for neighbouring Chad. June 10 Sudanese President General Omar el-Beshir pledges to end the conflict in western Darfur region, amid renewed blame for his government's failure to halt the fighting. "We are committed and determined to resolving the current conflict in Darfur in western Sudan," Beshir told a summit of nine African presidents and government officials attending a two-day Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit in Kampala. The G8 issues a statement on Sudan during their meeting. June 11 A SENIOR Sudanese envoy, Hassan Abdin, Sudan’s envoy to Britain. has denied widespread accusations from human rights groups that his government supports Arab militias who have waged a campaign of looting, burning and rape in the remote western Darfur region. "As far as the government is concerned the Janjaweed are bandits. The government is not responsible for their actions. They don’t condone these actions and actually have been trying to restrain the... groups, especially on the border area with Chad," said Abdin. "As a matter of fact the targeting of civilians was started by these armed groups, these so-called rebel groups," he said, referring to two main rebel groups who took up arms against Khartoum last year, accusing it of neglecting the poor region. Violent clashes on the Chad-Sudan border between militia fighters allied to Khartoum and Chadian government forces have revived long-harboured fears that the 16-month conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region could spread into Chad. A Chad military official said Thursday that members of the Arab Janjawid militia, who, fighting for Khartoum, have been blamed for the bulk of atrocities committed against inhabitants in Darfur, fought Chadian troops in Birak, a town 10 kilometers (six miles) inside Chad from the border with Sudan. June 19 Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir ordered on Saturday "complete mobilisation" to disarm all illegal armed groups in Darfur, including the Janjaweed. The Sudanese president has ordered security forces to disarm all groups, including rebels and pro-government militia, in the conflict-ridden region of Darfur, state-run radio said on Saturday. "What happened in Darfur is bloody and severe for all Sudanese people, not only the Darfurians," the president said in a statement also carried by some newspapers. "We renew once again our commitment to what we agreed in Ndjamena and underline that the security of sister Chad is an indivisible part of Sudanese security. Therefore, we will not allow anybody to disturb stability in Chad from Sudanese territory," he added. He ordered all government departments to reinforce security and clamp down on law-breaking rebels, the pro-Khartoum janjawid militias and other armed groups, disarming them and taking them to court. Police were to be deployed to provide protection in the region and secure the return of people to their villages, while legal authorities in Darfur were told to set up prosecution offices and courts to try bandits and other criminals "without delay". Beshir instructed ministries, particularly those of finance and agriculture, to provide seeds for the farming season and to implement development programmes and basic service. The president urged governmental and non-governmental organisations to launch a humanitarian campaign for the return of displaced people and provide them with shelter, food, clothing and medicine, the radio said. The head of the African Union is starting a visit to Darfur in western Sudan in an attempt to shore up a government-rebel ceasefire. Bashir orders "a complete mobilisation" to disarm all illegal armed groups in the Darfur region. A government team leaves Sudan for Paris for talks with a Darfur rebel group.( On Sunday, June 27, the 3 days secret talks collapse) June 22 Arab militias, supported by the Sudanese government, are crossing into Chad to attack local villagers and refugees from the Darfur conflict, a human rights organisation says in a statement "Human Rights Watch documented at least seven cross-border incursions into Chad conducted by the Janjaweed militias since early June. The Janjaweed attack villages in Chad and refugees from Darfur, and also steal cattle," the New York-based organisation said in its statement. June 23 "We have completed an agreement with Chad to collect arms in Darfur and the Chadian lands neighbouring Darfur at the same time," Sudanese Media Centre reported Bashir as saying on Tuesday during a meeting with invited journalists. "To disarm the groups in one area without the other would not help in resolving the problem," Bashir said. Chadian President Idriss Deby's adviser on foreign affairs warned last week that Sudan's inter-tribal violence could spill over the border and said the Janjaweed had been seeking the backing of Chad's Arab tribes. Bashir ordered "a complete mobilisation" to disarm all illegal armed groups in the Darfur region on Saturday, including the Janjaweed, Bashir said Africa's largest country had agreed with neighbouring Chad to disarm militias on both sides of the border, a semi-official news service reported on Wednesday. Al-Bashir says his decision to disarm armed militias in the embattled region of Darfur did not include pro-government groups. He also Wednesday accused unnamed "foreign parties" of "making trouble." He said Forces of Popular Defense and the Force of Popular Police, which comprise volunteer militia operating under the orders of the Sudanese Army and Sudanese police, will not be disbanded. Disarmament will be limited to the outlawed militias, including the Janjaweed, which includes militiamen of Arab origin, and African militias which "are the results of the struggle over the limited natural resources of the Western sector." He charged foreign parties are instigating trouble in Eastern Sudan on the border with Eritrea where camps for training rebels are being set up. June 24 A statement issued by President Umar Hasan al-Bashir says "foreign quarters" were using Darfur as "an alternative entry to interference in Sudan's internal affairs", according to the Khartoum-based Al-Sahafah daily newspaper. June 26 The US and The EU issue a statement on sudan during their meeting in Dromoland Castle, Ireland. Sudan's government announces a series of measures aimed at easing civilian suffering in the crisis-hit Darfur region, including the deployment of troops from the south of the country to crack down on notorious "Janjaweed" militia fighters. The announcement comes at the end of a three-day fact-finding mission to the Darfur region by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline. Calmy-Rey and amid increasing international calls to tackle the worsening humanitarian crisis in the area. The Sudanese government has made a number of positive – verbal- gestures on the issue of the war-torn western region of Darfur ahead of visits by United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. Powell and Annan are due the coming week to step up pressure on the Khartoum government to resolve the 16-month conflict raging in Darfur, disband pro-government Arab militia groups terrorizing the local population and restore a semblance of order and normalcy in the region. The Sudanese government has officially welcomed both visits and said it is prepared to join efforts with the international community in finding a solution to the conflict. "We welcome Secretary General Kofi Annan's visit to Sudan," Foreign Minister Mostafa Osman Ismail told reporters on the eve of the trip by the UN chief. Ismail extended the same courtesy to Powell, whose visit will be the first by a US secretary of state to Sudan in decades. But he added that he hoped these visits would be helpful to the people of Darfur and not be simply used to put pressure on the government. The minister also claimed that his government was "doing everything it can in order to restore normalcy in Darfur and welcomes the assistance of the international community to help it achieve this." Ismail was referring to a series of recent measures adopted by the government aimed at assuring critics and the international community that it was committed to bringing peace to the troubled Darfur region. He specifically cited the appointment of Interior Minister General Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein as President Omar al-Bashir's special representative in Darfur. Hussein's mission officially started on Thursday with a visit to the region and meetings with officials there on the security and humanitarian situation. Bashir has meanwhile removed the governor of South Darfur state, General Adam Hamid Moussa, and appointed Atta al-Manan Idris, a civilian, to replace him. No official explanation was given for the decision, but the move was widely seen by observers here as the beginning of a process to weed out officials believed to have actively or passively encouraged the violence in the region. June 29 The Sudanese government has welcomed the impending visits of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and US Secretary of State Colin Powell, which will focus on the Darfur crisis, but has also accused foreigners of trying to interfere in the country's internal affairs. Both high-profile visitors are due to arrive this week and to hold consultations with each other and the government in Khartoum: Annan will spend three days in Sudan and neighbouring Chad from 30 June; Powell will stay from 29 to 30 June. "As it happens, Secretary of State Powell's visit and my visit will coincide, and we will be together for at least one day in Khartoum, where we will be collectively putting pressure on the government to do what it has to do," said Annan at a press conference on Friday. Welcoming the visit last week, the minister of state for foreign affairs, Najib al-Khayr Abd al-Wahhab, reportedly said Annan's visit would consolidate "the partnership between the government and the UN in solving the humanitarian crisis in Darfur", according to the Sudanese News Agency, Suna. Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Uthman Isma'il reportedly added during a press conference on Saturday that he rejected "any pressure" by the US and UN concerning "conditions" in Darfur during the impending visits. The government was committed to "deter[ring] the outlaws in Darfur", while the final solution to the region's problems was linked to the "disarmament of the rebels and the armed militias", Suna quoted Bashir as saying. At the same time, Khartoum is claiming that the IDP situation is under control. Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid said last week that things were "under control regarding accommodation of the displaced people in Darfur", adding that around 179,000 IDPs had been accommodated by the government, according to Suna. July July 3 The government of Sudan announced Saturday that it would send troops to the western region of Darfur and disarm Arab militias known as the Janjaweed to end violence In a statement issued jointly with the United Nations, the government said it was committed to start immediately disarming the Arab militias, which are accused of killings, rapes and beatings that have driven the villagers, who view themselves as African, from their homes. The communique was signed at the airport in Khartoum moments before U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan departed the country after a two-day tour of refugee camps in Darfur and neighboring Chad, where more than 150,000 refugees live in tent cities that dot the harsh desert terrain. Sudanese officials promised to deploy a "strong, credible" police force to protect the camps and other areas vulnerable to attacks, the communique said. Officials also promised to develop a system that would allow women who have been raped during the crisis to bring charges against alleged assailants. One of two rebel groups in Sudan's western Darfur region says it will not join political negotiations in the Ethiopian capital this month aimed at ending the crisis. "We will not go to Addis Ababa on July 15 as we not involved in choosing the date or the place for the political negotiations," said Abdallah Abdel Kerim, spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). These negotiations are coming too quickly, since several of the points in the ceasefire accord of April 8 have not been respected, like the creation of a humanitarian corridor and the disarming of the Janjawid," the government-backed Arab militias, said the spokesman,. July 4 Sudan has started disarming Arab militias accused of sowing death and terror in its western region of Darfur and is confident the process will proceed smoothly, Foreign Minster Mustafa Osman Ismail said on Sunday. "It is under way," Ismail said, following his government's pledge on Saturday to disarm the Arab "Janjaweed" fighters responsible for uprooting more than one million people and creating what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. But rebels said the operation was a cover for preparations for a new wave of ethnic cleansing. They said a large government force was being mobilized in the regional capital. Ismail said a joint commission agreed during last week's visit to the region by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan would verify the disarmament of the militia. "We are making real progress," he said. The Darfur crisis has taken center stage ahead of this week's summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, where on Sunday the top AU official warned that Sudan faced a worsening humanitarian crisis unless the militias were stopped. Najeeb al-Kheir Abdul Wahab, Sudan's state minister for foreign affairs, said police and army units were conducting the disarmament. "We have collected weapons by force," Wahab said. "The process of general and complete disarmament is under way under effective government control." Sudan's promise has been greeted with scepticism by some human rights groups, which have joined U.S. officials in accusing the militia of carrying out ethnic cleansing campaign against black Africans. Underlining that scepticism, the rebel Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM) said it feared Khartoum planned a new offensive from Nyala, the capital of Southern Darfur state. "The movement knows that under the cover of what is being termed 'the disarmament of the Janjaweed', the government is preparing a new ethnic cleansing push after the mobilization of a large force from Nyala," the SLM said in a statement July 5 The African Union is preparing to send hundreds of troops to Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region "The protection force will be deployed as soon as possible ... Forces from Rwanda and Nigeria are on standby. They are ready go to," AU Director of Peace and Security Sam Ibok told a news conference. The AU has deployed unarmed observers to Darfur and had said if all parties agreed it was necessary, it would send armed troops to protect the monitors. Ibok said an initial deployment of 300 troops would likely be sent to guard an eventual 60 AU peace monitors as well as to patrol refugee camps and border areas between Sudan and Chad. Arms holders in Darfur committed Sunday aggression against 26 employees and looted six vehicles of the British Save the Children organization at Nada area between the Locality of Maliet and Al-Malha in North Darfur State. July 6 Fighting is still raging in Sudan's western region of Darfur and hampering emergency aid despite pressure applied by UN secretary General Kofi Annan and the US Secretary of State Colin Powell during recent visits, UN aid agencies said Tuesday. "Despite the sincere hopes raised by the visits... violence and insecurity are carrying on," World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume told journalists. "The situation has not improved, the degree of insecurity is really complicating an already difficult humanitarian situation," she added. "We have to be clear about this: the insecurity in Darfur, which really is the biggest obstacle at the moment, is not only due to the Janjawid, but also the SLA," Berthiaume said. Fighting has intensified in the south of Darfur, forcing 600 people to flee to the town of Ed Daein in south Darfur over the weekend, she added. A railway station there was attacked and burned by rebels, hampering the delivery of emergency food aid by train, while the main road between the city of Nyala and the southern town was also blocked by fighting, Berthiaume said. The UN refugee agency also said heavy fighting was continuing to displace civilians in Darfur, where about 1.2 million people have fled their homes. The fighting was centred on an area south-east of Nyala, where the Sudanese government and militia last week reportedly launched an offensive against territory largely held by the SLA rebels, UNHCR said. Civilians reported that "their villages were bombed by Antonov aircraft and helicopter gunships," according to UNHCR spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis. "After that, they tell us, armed men in pickup trucks and on horseback and camelback killed men, women and children, raped women, stole their possessions and animals, and burned down their homes," she added. July 7 As of 12:30 pm on Wednesday, 7 July 2004, the internet site, Sudanese Online has been blocked from viewing. The order to block the website came from the National Security Agency (NSA), and was carried out by the National Telecommunications Corporations (NTC), the major internet service provider in Sudan. Allegedly, the order was due to continued publication of news, reports and discussions by the website that were deemed a national security threat. July 8 Armed bandits are reported to have attacked civilians and humanitarian workers in the violence-wracked Darfur region of western Sudan, while rebels of the Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army reportedly attacked civilians in southern Sudan. At Mornei in west Darfur, where 60,000 IDPs live, the Sudanese government prevented an aid agency with sanitation experience from setting up operations, Okabe said. Relief workers fear poor sanitation conditions contribute to spreading of diseases. July 9 Sudan warns US against 'new Iraq'. Sudan has warned the United States against creating another Iraq-style situation by getting too involved in the Darfur conflict. Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail said that sanctions would worsen the crisis. Mr Ismail warned "those voices which have drawn the world to the Iraq war not to take it to a new war which it will be difficult to disengage from," in an interview with Sudan's Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper. Mr Ismail said these sanctions risked "weakening the credibility of agreements" made with Mr Powell and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for the Sudan government to disarm the Janjaweed.





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