He Says, They Say… (Reprise)
Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, November 25, 2007
Darfur rebels spurn Chinese force
Rebels in Darfur have demanded that peacekeepers from China pull out of the Sudanese region just hours after the arrival of 135 Chinese engineers.
The army engineers arrived on Saturday to prepare for a joint UN and African Union peacekeeping force of 26,000.
The key Justice and Equality Movement (Jem) rebel group accuses China of being complicit in the Darfur conflict.
Last month the group attacked a Chinese-controlled oilfield, kidnapping several workers.
The Jem says it wants China to withdraw its support for the Sudanese government.
They say that oil sold to the Chinese is being used to fund government operations in Darfur.
Rebels would not allow the Chinese into areas controlled by their forces, Jem leader Khalil Ibrahim told the news agency Reuters following the arrival of the engineers.
“We oppose them coming because China is not interested in human rights. It is just interested in Sudan’s resources,” he said.
“We are calling on them to quit Sudan, especially the petroleum areas.”
Mr Ibrahim did not say whether he would target the Chinese engineers.
“I am not saying I will attack them. I will not say I will not attack them,” he said.
“What I am saying is that they are taking our oil for blood.”
The Chinese engineers are tasked with building roads and bridges and dig wells ahead of the deployment of the joint peacekeeping force planned for January.
The rebels have said they would not object to peacekeepers from any country other than China.
But on Friday, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir said his country would only accept non-African troops from Pakistan or China.
A month ago the Jem attacked Sudan’s Defra oilfield in the Kordofan region, run by a Chinese-controlled consortium, the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company.
Jem said at the time that the Chinese company had one week to leave Sudan.
An estimated 200,000 people have died during four-and-a-half years of fighting in Darfur, with a further two million people displaced.
But the Party mouthpiece, Xinhua, says this:
Chinese vanguards arrive in Darfur for peacekeeping
Vanguards of the Chinese engineering units arrived in the western Sudanese region of Darfur on Saturday to take part in the hybrid peacekeeping force of the United Nations and the African Union (AU).
The 135 Chinese peacekeepers, upon arrival in South Darfur State capital Niyala, were warmly welcomed by UN, AU and Sudanese officials at the Niyala International Airport.
The Chinese vanguards were also joined in the airport by five Chinese officers who had arrived in Niyala in August in order to receive the equipment of the Chinese peacekeepers, some of which have been transported there since September.
The 140 Chinese peacekeepers will dwell temporarily in a transitional camp before the camp of the Chinese unites is set up, an anonymous Chinese officer told Xinhua in a telephone contact.
The main tasks for the Chinese engineering units include building camps, roads and airports, and digging wells in addition to some other projects in preparations for the deployment of peacekeepers from other countries.
This is the first batch of the UN peacekeepers arriving in the region to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1769 adopted on July 31, which authorizes the deployment of a 26,000-strong hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur.
The Chinese government has exerted a lot of efforts to help resolve the Darfur problem since armed conflicts erupted in the region in 2003, including appointing a special envoy for the Darfur issues and providing a large amount of relief materials to the region.
And there is also this headline:
Engineering peace, prosperity in Darfur
And another one here, in case anyone missed the point:
Chinese peacekeepers honored in Sudan
Jeez, 1984 anyone? Brazil, perhaps?