Clashes re-erupted in Darfour
Sudan, Politics, 5/6/2004
Sudanese security and military sources said that fighting erupted between the government forces and the rebels in Darfour district ( West Sudan) despite signing a cease- fire agreement in April, while a delegation representing the Arab League started a visit to the district to evaluate humanitarian needs.
The sources in Darfour said that the clashes took place around Abu Qumra, 45 Km to the north of Kabakbeyah town. A high ranking Sudanese military source said that " we are still fighting groups of rebels. The fighting is continuous. We have to destroy them. These are the instructions." He added " this is the third day of the fighting. Some of the rebels refuse the idea of dropping the weapons."
When he was asked about the cease fire, he said " These agreements are international paper slips. We have our own responsibilities here in the field." The rebels in Darfour accused the government of violating the truce in the past and accused pro government Arab militias saying that the government provides weapons for these militias which is described by Khartoum as outlaws.
In Rome, WFP executive director James Maurice said in a statement " this is one of the worst food crisis in the world with the dislocation of very huge number of people.." The World Food program WFP said that more than 110,000 refugees evacuated from the area to Chad. The WFP had urged the Sudanese government to accelerate efforts aiming at controlling the armed militias and ensuring protection for the displaced people before the rainfall season. The rebellion started in February 2003 as the rebels ask for a fair share of authority and resources.
In Cairo, the spokesman for the Arab League Husam Zaki said that a delegation headed by chairman of African department in the AL Samir Hosni is currently in Darfour to assess the humanitarian situation following reports which talked about fears of the spread of famine. Zaki added that the delegation will stay for days in the district and will submit a report to the secretary general of the Arab league Amr Moussa.
In Washington the US International Aid Agency said that the first shipment of aid including equipment to build shelters for the evacuees reached Darfour on Tuesday in shipping planes.
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