Sudan carries out another air strike in Darfur : UN


Sudan has carried out another air strike on a village in Darfur, the international peacekeepers said days after two other villages were hit in the troubled western region.

Violence in Darfur, scene of an insurgency pitting mostly non-Arab rebels against government troops backed by largely Arab militias, has fallen from its peak in 2003 and 2004 but a surge in attacks since December has forced tens of thousands to flee.

A team of peacekeepers are trying to enter the area of Sukamir, a village in north Darfur where an air strike was reported on Tuesday afternoon, the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) said, Reuters reports.
“The team will attempt to collect information on possible casualties and newly displaced persons,” it said in a statement.

The incident comes days after the army carried out air strikes on two villages in south Darfur on Sunday, according to UNAMID. The army could not be immediately reached for comment.

UNAMID also said several aid missions had been cancelled and UNAMID flights halted in Darfur because of new government constriction imposed over security concerns.

Qatar has hosted Darfur peace talks that have been delayed by rebel divisions and continued military operations on the ground as Khartoum has gradually reasserted control over major towns and other previously rebel-held areas.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of masterminding genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

The United Nations says as many as 300,000 people have died during the conflict. Khartoum puts the death toll at 10,000.

Earlier this month, Sudan went ahead with a plan to create two additional states in Darfur, a move rebels have condemned as intended to strengthen Khartoum’s control over the region.

Khartoum also plans to hold a referendum on July 1 on making Darfur a single region to upgrade its status despite rebel demands to wait until a peace deal has been signed.

Sudan’s oil-producing south is due to break away from Khartoum on July 9 after its people voted to secede in January under a 2005 peace deal.