Thursday, 19 May 2011

Sudan bombs Darfur village

According to the UN, Sudan has carried out an air strike mission on a village in the western region of Darfur. A number of the group's officials are trying to make their way to the Sukamir area in north Darfur to gauge the situation.

The UN believes that pro-government Arab militias are trying to cleanse the region of non-Arab residence. It is estimated that as many as 300,000 people have been killed in the strike.

UN's deligation in Darfur, Unamid, released a statement on Wednesday 18th May, saying jet planes struck Sukamir, located near Kuma, on Tuesday. It also said a team had been sent to the area "to collect information on possible casualties and newly displaced persons". The statement confirmed that UN flights to the regions of Shangil Tobaya, Fanga Suk and others in north Darfur have been suspended.

Khartoum has denied knowledge of the strike, which was similar to the one on Sunday 15th May when the town of Labado and the village of Esheraya in southern Darfur came under bombardment.

Head of Unamid Ibrahim Gambari has voiced concern about the situation, saying: "I call upon all parties to exercise the utmost restraint in the use of lethal force."

Citing “security threats,” the Sudan's government restricted all movement of peacekeepers in South Darfur state beyond a 15 km radius from Nyala, the state capital.

Sources: BBC News, AFP, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about the Sahara region, please see Sahara Focus.

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