10 killed in Darfur, 50 displaced from their homes
Special to USAfricaonline.com
A Darfur rebel group said 10 people were killed in clashes with Sudanese police in two camps for displaced people in the war-ravaged region of western Sudan on Saturday.
A spokesman for Abdelwahid Nur, the exiled leader of a Sudan Liberation Army faction, said another 27 people were wounded in the clashes. All the casualties were people displaced from their homes by the war.
The clashes were taking place in the Hamidiya and Khamsa Dagaig camps of West Darfur state, Ibrahim al-Hilu said, calling on United Nations and African Union peacekeepers to intervene.
“On Saturday morning, government forces attacked displaced people in Hamidiya and Khamsa Dagaig camps,” the spokesman said in a telephone interview from Paris.
“The number of dead has reached 10, including a woman, and 27 people have been wounded, some critically.”
Camp residents contacted by AFP said gunfire could still be heard and police had surrounded the camp. “Government forces are on every side of the camp and we hear intermittent gunfire,” said Al-Taher Mohammed.
A spokesman for a hybrid United Nations and African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, UNAMID, said it had received reports of dead in the clashes but did not have a count and could not confirm who took part in the gunfight.
“We don’t have a body count and we sent a team to investigate but it could not reach the area for us to be able to determine who was behind the attack,” said UNAMID spokesman Chris Cycmanick.
Nur on Friday said Sudanese forces had launched a major offensive using air power on a rebel stronghold that killed 74 people, mostly civilians.
UNAMID said only that it had received reports of dozens of civilian casualties in an attack by gunmen on horses and camels, but it was still trying to reach the scene.
An army spokesman reached by AFP denied troops had been involved in any fighting on Friday. “These claims are completely baseless. There have been no clashes between us and them,” Sawarmi Khaled Saad said.
The United Nations says 300,000 people have died since minority rebels revolted against the Arab-dominated central government in 2003, and 2.7 million people have fled their homes from the fighting.
The government in Khartoum says 10,000 people have been killed.
WHY AMERICA SHOULD HALT THE GENOCIDE IN DARFUR, SUDAN. By CHIDO NWANGWU. Special to USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston and The Black Business Journal