Rwanda to honour Sudan’s wishes

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir yesterday warned peacekeepers, diplomats and humanitarian workers to obey Sudanese laws or face expulsion.
RDF Chief of Defence Staff, General James Kabarebe addresses  troops on their arrival at Kigali International Airport from Darfur. (Photo File).
RDF Chief of Defence Staff, General James Kabarebe addresses troops on their arrival at Kigali International Airport from Darfur. (Photo File).

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir yesterday warned peacekeepers, diplomats and humanitarian workers to obey Sudanese laws or face expulsion.

Bashir made the warning over the weekend following his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Rwanda through its Ministry of Defence, has responded that, in the event of this happening it is ready to comply.

In an interview with, The New Times, army spokesman Maj. Jill Rutaremara emphasised that Rwandan troops are serving under the context of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations, and that the issue of peacekeeper deployment is dealt with at the level of all involved parties including the Sudanese government.

Currently, Rwanda has about 3000 peacekeepers in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan; the peacekeepers are serving under the auspices of the joint UN-African Union hybrid mission in Darfur.

Rutaremara said that Rwandan forces are in Sudan on the consent of the Bashir government.

“Rwandan troops are in Sudan to contribute to the peace process on the consent of the Sudanese government,” explained Rutaremara, adding that the forces cannot operate without the authorisation of the host government.

“If the consent ends, the political authorities will then give the Rwanda Defence Force peacekeepers directives of what to do next,” said Rutaremara.

Efforts to reach the Minister of Foreign Affairs Rosemary Museminali and Minister of Information Louise Mushikiwabo for a political comment were futile by press time.

During a recent rally in the Darfur town of El Fasher, Bashir said; “I have a message to all the peacekeepers, diplomatic missions in Sudan and the non-governmental organisations. They have to respect the rule of the country. If anyone goes further than the rule of the country, we will kick them out directly.”

Also in response to the ICC indictments, Sudan expelled 13 of the largest aid groups operating in Darfur.

Meanwhile, in a statement issues by UNAMID late Sunday evening, the peacekeepers said that the situation was relatively calm.

The international court accuses Bashir of leading a counterinsurgency against Darfur rebels that involved rapes, killings and other atrocities against civilians.

Up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million been driven from their homes in the conflict since 2003, according to the United Nations.

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