Sudan´s bombing of Darfur ´breaks ceasefire´ (INDEPENDENT UK) By Meera Selva, Africa Correspondent "More than 100 people in the Darfur region of Sudan are believed to have been killed" 01/28/05)
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More than 100 people in the Darfur region of Sudan are believed to
have been killed after aircraft bombed a village. The attack brazenly
flouted a ceasefire in the area and all but destroyed the settlement.
The bombing apparently took place on Wednesday night and hit the
village of Shangil Tobaya, around 40 miles away from El-Fasher in the
south of the region. A spokesman for the African Union (AU) confirmed
yesterday that the attack, which was almost certainly carried out by
Sudanese government forces, was "the most serious attack in recent
months". The continuing violence is likely to lead to renewed calls
for international intervention in Sudan. On 16 January, the
neighbouring village of Hamada was attacked from the air and,
according to a UN team, virtually wiped out.
The ceasefire between rebel forces and the Sudanese government has
been violated almost 100 times since it was signed last April.
Thousands have been made homeless by the conflict and the UN is to
make a public announcement on whether genocide has taken place in the
Survivors of the recent attacks have fled to the nearby town of
Menawashi, although Save The Children, the only aid agency that had
worked there, was expelled from the country last year. Other
humanitarian organisations are now going to the area to provide food
and shelter for refugees.
George Somerwill, a spokes-man for the UN assessment team, said: "It
has been confirmed that the village of Hamada was nearly totally
destroyed and that up to 105 civilians may have been killed, with the
majority of victims being women and children."
He added that rebel groups in the region have also broken the
ceasefire and around 30 people were killed when they attacked the
village of Malam, south Darfur on 21 January.
Meanwhile, Arab armed militias known as the janjaweed attacked
another village and killed three people. The AU has sent monitors to
get more information on the attacks and determine whether the
Sudanese government played a direct role in the raids.
Aid workers in the camps dotted around Darfur have reported a large
influx of people in recent weeks all of whom claim to have been
attacked by the janjaweed and Sudanese government aircraft. The
Sudanese government has always denied that it has links to the Arab
militias but civilians say they coordinate attacks.
The Khartoum government agreed late last year to make Darfur a no-fly
zone but insists it is still entitled to use aircraft to protect
supply routes and civilians. Last month it said it had launched a
military campaign against bandits in Hamada, Juruf and Gemeiza.
Aid agencies have warned that the situation in Darfur has
deteriorated in recent months; the two main rebel groups have
fragmented and new armed gangs have sprung up in both government and
On Wednesday, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) said
three of its Sudanese workers had been kid- napped last month in the
rebel-held Labado in south Darfur.
So far, more than 70,000 people have been killed and another 1.5
million displaced by a conflict which the UN has described as the
world´s worst humanitarian situation.
The Sudanese government has signed a high-profile peace deal with the
southern rebels, ending 21 years of civil war, but negotiations over
Darfur have had little success. All sides are due to resume peace
talks in Nigeria next week. The talks collapsed last month after the
rebels accused the government of continuing military operations in
south Darfur. (© 2005 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd 01/28/05)
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