14 killed in Sudan air raids

Rebels from the west of Sudan have said government air raids killed 14 people in the poor and arid region, describing the event as one of the latest breaches of a ceasefire agreement signed by both sides.

    The rebel Sudan Liberation Army emerged as a fighting force in Western Darfur

    The rebel Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M) emerged as a fighting force in the Western Darfur region in February, accusing the Khartoum government of marginalising the area. 

    After peace talks in neighbouring Chad earlier this month, the two sides agreed to extend a ceasefire deal for one month, but have since accused each other of violating the agreement. 

    "The government with Antonov planes attacked Northern Darfur killing six people...and in west Darfur killing eight people," Abd al-Wahid Muhammad Ahmad al-Nur, an SLA/M leader told Reuters on Friday via satellite phone from Darfur. 

    "The government attack our areas daily either by aircraft or militias or even their soldiers. They don't respect the ceasefire," he said, adding the latest raids were on Thursday. 

    Government officials were not immediately available to
    comment.  

    'Dangerous consequences'

    The United Nations estimates half a million people have fled
    their homes because of the conflict in Darfur. Human rights
    group Amnesty International said in a statement the Sudanese government had "severely restricted" the outside world from
    access to the area. 

    "The government attack our areas daily either by aircraft or militias or even their soldiers. They don't respect the ceasefire"

    Abd al-Wahid Muhammad Ahmad al-Nur, rebel leader

    "In an apparent attempt to conceal the dangerous consequences of this violent political conflict, the Sudanese
    government has barred or severely restricted the outside world from access to the internally displaced people in Darfur," the statement received by Reuters on Thursday said. 

    Sudan is in separate peace talks with a different rebel group to end a two-decade-old civil war in the south of Africa's largest country that has killed about two million people, mostly from famine or disease.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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