Last Friday their new uniforms filled the streets of El Fasher and foreigners were warned to stay indoors.
General Collins Ihekire, the Nigerian head of the African Union's (AU) 7,000-strong peacekeeping force, believes the perception that it is implementing an unfair peace agreement is hampering its efforts even more than a lack of resources.
"They (the rebels) are not seeing us as partners in the peace process but as legitimate targets," he said by telephone from Darfur. Two AU soldiers were killed last month in an ambush, and more attacks were expected, he added. Most of the peacekeepers had not been paid since May.
BBC World Service broadcasts to Juba in Southern Sudan and surrounding areas in Arabic on 90.0 FM and in English on 88.2 FM. In Northern Sudan: Khartoum 91.0 FM, Al Ubayyid 91.0 FM, Port Sudan 91.0 FM and Wad Madani 91.5 FM.
“Violence will bring no victory. For the sake of the Darfur civilians, all parties to the conflict have to stop resorting to violence. This is the absolute priority.” - Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, 05 June 2009
"APPREHENSION" by Rob Rooker. Painted on a wall in Maridi, Sudan. The image is of a young Nuer boy looking up among a crowd of people. Click on image for more details. Cards & prints of Rob's paintings can be purchased online at Imagekind.com