EU: Sudan using white aircraft resembling UN's for Darfour attacks
LONDON — The European Union has charged that Sudan has been using aircraft mistaken for those of the United Nations in military operations in Darfour.
The EU said the Sudanese Air Force aircraft are the same color as
those deployed by the UN-African Union mission in Darfour, or UNAMID, Middle East Newsline reported. They
said Sudan has been flying both fixed- and rotary-wing white unmarked
aircraft to avoid
rebel surface-to-air missile strikes.
"It condemns the use of white aircraft in these operations, which is
deliberately intended to create confusion with United Nations aircraft," the
EU said in a statement by the French presidency.
Sudan has operated the UN-like aircraft in its military offensive in
Darfour in September 2008. EU officials said the Sudanese Air Force attacked
suspected rebel strongholds in the northern portion of the war-torn Darfour
Also In This Edition
"The European Union calls on the Sudanese authorities to put an
immediate end to the military operations which started a few days ago in
Darfour," the EU said on Sept. 23.
UNAMID confirmed that UN-looking aircraft were being sent on missions by
the Sudanese military over rebel-held areas of Darfour. On Sept. 21, an
unidentified unmarked white helicopter was spotted over an area controlled
by the Sudan Liberation Army rebel group.
"A white color helicopter not marked with UN emblem or any identifiable
markings was seen flying over the eastern part of Sortony," UNAMID said on
Sept. 23. "The situation is being monitored."
The EU said international aid sent to Darfour was not reaching civilian
communities because of the Sudanese military use of UN-looking aircraft. In
mid-September, rebel forces fired toward a UNAMID helicopter in northern
Darfour, the second attack in as many weeks on the peace-keeping force.