Thursday, February 05, 2009

Darfur: Shootings and bombings continue close to U.N. camp

Weapons fire, aerial bombing and armed patrols were observed throughout the day near a major camp of the African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur (UNAMID), as civilians fled fighting in the southern part of the violence-torn region of Sudan.

UNAMID’s personnel said that in addition to ongoing fire that could be heard, Sudanese Government forces were allegedly observed conducting patrols around the town, approximately 500 metres from the UNAMID camp in the town of Muhajeria.

An unidentified aircraft also flew over Muhajeria and dropped three bombs approximately one kilometre from the camp, UNAMID said.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) have converged on the camp after fleeing the fighting in the area, which broke out on 15 January between Government forces and the Sudanese Liberation Army/Mini Minawi faction (SLA/MM) against the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Others have moved into northern areas of the Darfur region, where fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen and causing an estimated 300,000 deaths, while forcing some 2.7 million people to flee their homes.

So far, the Al Salaam IDP camp in the north has received 520 new arrivals and the Zam Zam camp received 1,400 persons, with 90 per cent of the new IDPs being women and children, according to humanitarian sources.

UNAMID said it has provided some tents to assist the humanitarian community in North Darfur.

The Joint UN-AU Special Representative for Darfur, Rodolphe Adada, travelled to Chad today, where he is expected to hold consultations with JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim on the current situation.

Source: UN News Centre
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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