Monday, October 23, 2006

Darfur rebels say militias attack villages

Reuters report via ReliefWeb - excerpt:
"The Janjaweed attacked villages in Nena yesterday and raped two girls ... aged 16 and 18," said Jar el-Naby, a rebel commander in North Darfur.

"Government troops are also mobilising in this area, and we are prepared for an attack," Naby said.

Nena is about 100 kilometres northwest of el-Fasher, Darfur's main town. Janjaweed, derived loosely from the Arabic for devils on horseback, are militias accused of a campaign of rape, pillage and murder which Washington calls genocide.

Khartoum denies genocide and any links to Janjaweed, calling them bandits.

One African Union source confirmed the heavy build-up of troops around the area in North Darfur, which has seen fighting between the rebels and government over the past few months.

Rights group Amnesty International said in a press release that thousands of civilians in neighbouring eastern Chad had fled cross-border Janjaweed attacks.

"The new wave of attacks across the Chad/Sudan border started on 3 October and have continued since then," Amnesty said in a press release on Saturday. "Dozens of people have been killed and some 3,000 have fled in the past week." It called on the Chadian government to deploy more troops along the long and porous border until U.N. peacekeepers deployed in Darfur.

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