Tuesday, June 15, 2010

UN council alarmed over spike in Darfur violence

By Patrick Worsnip

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council expressed grave concern on Monday over a spike in violence in Sudan's western Darfur region, which a U.N. envoy said was seriously hindering protection and aid for civilians.

The envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, told the council 447 people had died in May alone -- a lower figure than given last week by U.N. officials, but still what he called a "serious escalation" in fighting between Sudan's government and Darfur rebels.

Gambari, head of the U.N./African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, or UNAMID, said military clashes were likely to "continue for some time unless urgent efforts at ensuring a ceasefire are made by the international community."

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when mostly non-Arab rebel factions took up arms against Sudan's government, accusing it of neglecting the region's development. Khartoum mobilized mostly Arab militias to crush the uprising. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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