France demands Sudan disarm Arab militias

6th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 5 (AFP) - France on Monday urged the Sudanese government to immediately make good on its promises to disarm state-sponsored Arab militias accused of terrorizing the people in the western region of Darfur.

PARIS, July 5 (AFP) - France on Monday urged the Sudanese government to immediately make good on its promises to disarm state-sponsored Arab militias accused of terrorizing the people in the western region of Darfur.

In response to Sudan's commitment to start disarming the Janjaweed, French foreign ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said Paris "calls on the government in Khartoum to implement these measures effectively and immediately."

"This disarmament... is the only way to re-establish trust, and thus to encourage the civilian population to go home to their villages," Ladsous added.

Khartoum on Saturday pledged to disarm the Janjaweed, government-backed Arab militias notorious for their wholesale destruction of villages populated by non-Arabs, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan wrapped up a visit to Sudan.

Disarmament had been Annan's key demand in Friday talks with President Omar al-Beshir after the UN chief saw the human impact of the humanitarian crisis first-hand in visits to Darfur and refugee camps in neighboring Chad.

The Sudanese government also undertook to "allow the deployment of human rights monitors" and "ensure that all individuals and groups accused of human rights violations are brought to justice without delay".

Washington has already drawn up draft sanctions targeting named Janjaweed leaders accused of orchestrating a "reign of terror" in Darfur, where at least 10,000 people have died and more than a million have been driven from their homes since ethnic minority rebels launched an uprising early last year.

Peace talks are due to resume in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on July 15, a development welcomed by Ladsous on Monday.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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