News and Information

UN condemns Darfur rebel attacks
November 24, 2004
The United Nations has condemned "in the strongest terms" rebel attacks in Sudan's Darfur region.

Clashes in south Darfur were reported to have left a number of people dead, while in the north they forced the evacuation of aid workers.

The chief UN envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, decried the attacks, urging both sides to "halt all fighting immediately".

The fighting in Darfur comes despite a recent African Union-backed agreement with the rebels to end the conflict.

The UN has demanded that Sudan stop the violence in Darfur - though the government in Khartoum says the international community has virtually ignored the rebels' part in the conflict.

Airlifted out

The government says attacks by the Sudan Liberation Army on refugee camps in south Darfur on Monday killed at least 25 people, including 22 policemen, a medical worker and two civilians.

SLA rebels deny responsibility for the killings.

Mr Pronk said he condemned "in the strongest terms the killing of policemen and civilians around Kalma camp".

The town of Tawilla in North Darfur saw an outbreak of fighting on Sunday between government-backed militias, known as Janjaweed, and SLA rebels.

Q&A: Darfur crisis
Aid workers had to be airlifted to safety to avoid the violence.

Save the Children said Sudanese government warplanes had bombed positions 50 metres from the charity's feeding centres, a claim that could not be independently verified.

African Union monitors in the area said six civilians had died in the fighting.

At least 30,000 refugees are in Tawilla, having fled Janjaweed attacks.

Mr Pronk said the rebel attack on Tawilla was "a clear violation" of the Abuja protocol, an agreement to cease hostilities signed by the rebels and the government in the Nigerian capital two weeks ago.

He said the attack "places tens of thousands of civilians at risk" because aid workers caring for refugees had been forced to stop their operations and flee.

Troop plan

The renewed violence came as the UN confirmed plans to deploy up to 7,000 peacekeeping troops in Sudan.

Troops will be deployed when a peace agreement has been finalised to end the Darfur conflict and a 21-year-old civil war in southern Sudan.

At least 1.5 million people have left their homes in Darfur and and estimated 70,000 are believed to have died in the conflict since March.

The civil war in the south is estimated to have killed two million people since it began.


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