Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 6 News List

Sudan using mock UN planes to bomb Darfur: UN report

IN DISGUISE A photo showed an armed forces plane that investigators said was whitewashed and had the letters `UN' stenciled onto its wing


The Sudanese government is using airplanes disguised as UN aircraft to carry out bombings in the conflict in Darfur, a newspaper citing a UN report said yesterday.

The confidential UN report also said Sudan was violating UN Security Council resolutions by flying arms into the region.

The story included photographs from the UN report of a Sudanese armed forces plane. UN investigators said it had been whitewashed and had "UN" stenciled on its wing and bombs laid out beside it.

It said that this and other planes were being disguised and used to bomb villages and transport cargo in Darfur, where bloody civil violence has caused a humanitarian crisis.

More than 200,000 people are estimated to have been killed and at least 2 million others displaced in Darfur since 2003.

That was when government forces -- including its Janjaweed Arab militias -- began fighting rebel groups who had taken up arms in protest at the distribution of resources.

The release of the report came after Sudan on Monday agreed, following months of delays, to let 3,000 UN personnel plus helicopters into Darfur to support under-equipped African Union forces trying to stabilize the region.

The UN report, said forces on the rebels' side were also guilty of violating UN resolutions and humanitarian standards. It called for a tightening of a Security Council arms embargo on Sudan, the newspaper said.

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