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OIC Troika takes initiative on Darfur case

InternationalForeign Ministry Spokesman Namik Tan said yesterday that Turkey, together with Iran and Yemen as the Organization of Islamic Republic (OIC) Troika, has voiced its expectations to the U.N. regarding support of the African Union (AU) in ending the ongoing violations in Sudan's western Darfur region.

Tan said while speaking to reporters at a weekly press briefing yesterday, that OIC countries' permanent U.N. representatives discussed on July 12 the Darfur situation and agreed that the AU should be given time in its efforts to end the violations.

He added that Turkey, Iran and Yemen had conveyed the opinion of the representatives to the head of the U.N. Security Council on July 15, in writing.

The violence in Sudan's Darfur region began 15 months ago when two rebel groups from Darfur's African tribes took up arms in a struggle over land and resources against their Arab countrymen. Subsequently, Arab militias known as Janjaweed began a brutal campaign to drive out the black African tribesmen.

Up to 30,000 people, most of them black, have so far been killed. The European Union, the United States and humanitarian groups have accused the Sudanese government of backing the militias.

Following the continued violations, around 200,000 black Africans migrated to neighboring Chad. In addition, more than one million Sudanese in the south of the country are on the brink of suffering from drought and famine.

The EU, the United States and some humanitarian groups accuse the Sudanese government of backing the Janjaweed militias in ethnic cleansing, a claim which Sudan rejects.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail held high-level talks with Turkish officials in Ankara at the beginning of this week, seeking assurances that Turkey has no hand in the ongoing violence.

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