Saturday, December 16, 2006

AU blames Khartoum as Darfur crisis worsens

Dec 16 2006 Reuters report - AU blames Khartoum as Darfur crisis worsens - excerpt:
The African Union on Saturday said the situation in Sudan's troubled Darfur region was worsening due to the return of re-armed Janjaweed militia and Khartoum's resolve to use military force.

"The security situation in Darfur is fast deteriorating mainly because of the re-emergence of Janjaweed militias," said an AU communique issued at the end of a meeting on Darfur.

"(They) seem to have been supplied and rearmed and have been carrying out nefarious activities with impunity in parts of Darfur, particularly in areas controlled by the government of Sudan.

The statement added that another cause for the decline was Khartoum's insistence on a military option to quell the conflict.

The AU also condemned attacks by the National Redemption Front (NRF) in Darfur. The rebel faction is comprised of groups that rejected a peace deal with the government signed in May.

"The meeting expressed deep concern on the prevailing situation in El Fasher, El Geneina, Kutum and Merllit characterised by harassment, attacks and killings of innocent civilians including IDPs (internally displace people)," the AU communique said.

It deplored attacks on AU personnel including the abduction of a military officer on Dec. 10 in El Fasher.

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