Sudan, insurgents must abide by international law – UNAMID head warns

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July 7, 2010 (Khartoum) — The head of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur, Ibrahim Gambari, said government and rebel forces must stop blocking missions by aid workers and peacekeepers in Darfur or risk breaking international law.

Gambari told journalists that “both insurgents and government forces had prevented his mission from entering areas hit by a resurgence of violence over the past two months”.

“We are demanding the lifting of restrictions on UNAMID and on the humanitarian community … Persistent restriction of such movements is a violation of international humanitarian law”, he added.

Mr. Ibrahim admitted that some government restrictions were acceptable because there was active fighting in the area.

The head of mission acknowledged said that some government restrictions were acceptable because there was a fighting in the area.

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Sudan resumes press censorship

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July 6, 2010 (Khartoum) — Sudan on Tuesday suspended Al Intibaha newspaper accusing it of campaigning for Sudan separation, State media reports.

The move comes six months before January 2011 referendum.

AFP quoted the president of Sudanese Union of journalists, Mohiedinne Titawi, saying “We have been notified by the intelligence services that the newspaper Al-Intibaha has been closed and that from today press censorship has once again been imposed, adding the censorship will focus on the issue of the country’s unity or separation and the security of south Sudan”.

An Al Intibaha newspaper is known for its separatist views. The paper has been calling for North to separate from the South. The far-right newspaper is sometimes call the "true Northerner" by the people who suport its anti-Southern views.

“The decision is aimed at reducing the negative role of newspapers wanting to strengthen separatist tendencies in the North and South, in opposition to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which extolls unity," according to Sudan Media Center, which is close to the government.

At least two other newspapers have been warned by the intelligent services, telling them “not to cross red lines”.

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China supports unity of Sudan, urges transparent and credible referendum

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July 4, 2010 (Khartoum) The Chinese envoy to Darfur Liu Guijin on Sunday said his country favors unity of Sudan and a political solution to Darfur conflict.

The Chinese official reaffirms his country commitment to peace in Sudan. He praises progress made by the NCP and the SPLM on the CPA implementation.

"We are supporting the two major partners to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the National Congress Party and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to work together to try to solve the difficulties and obstacles on the way and to have a credible, transparent and fair referendum," Liu told reporters in Khartoum.

Sudan’s minister for cabinet affairs in the unity government, Luka Biong Deng, a leading figure in South Sudan’s ruling party, met with the Chinese official. They discussed the upcoming January 2011 referendum, Darfur problem, and many other issues.

"China wishes to cooperate with the North and South," Liu said.

“Beijing was in favor of the unity of Africa’s largest country”, AFP quoted the Chinese envoy as saying.

Mr. Liu Guijin also met with Ghazi Salahedden, Omar al-Bashir’s adviser on Darfur.

"The only way to resolve the problem in Darfur is through peaceful negotiations, through the political process, any boycotting of the political process, any choice of remaining outside the political process is not acceptable, is not conducive to peace and to the resolution of the problem," Chinese special envoy to Darfur told reporters after meeting with Salahedden.

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