Darfur town near AU base razed

Town controlled by Sudanese army is burnt down.

    AU soldiers bury their comrades killed in the attack on the AU base near Haskanita last month [AFP]

    Market looted

    The UN statement said most civilians had fled after the September 29 attack, but a few had returned to search for food and water.

    It was unclear if anyone had been killed or injured in the destruction of the town, but the UN said the market area had been looted.

    An Associated Press reporter saw Haskanita intact last weekend just as the army was taking control following the suspected rebel attack.

    A UN official who had just inspected the North Darfur town said on Sunday that more than 15,000 civilians were fleeing the area.

    The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the town had been destroyed by the Sudanese army and Janjawid fighters.

    Several international observers, including aid workers and UN officials, disputed claims by local rebel chiefs that about 100 civilians had been killed in the destruction of Haskanita.

    The Sudanese military had no immediate comment.

    The AU said it could not comment since it had evacuated the area around Haskanita last Sunday.

    Peace talks

    The attack on the peacekeepers' camp was the bloodiest against the undermanned and ill-equipped AU mission and threw into peril peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebels set for this month in Tripoli, Libya.

    At the time of the attack on the AU peacekeepers, Sudanese forces were launching raids against rebel fighters in the region.

    Some rebels have said the attack on the AU peacekeepers may have happened because some rebel groups suspected the AU of collaboration with Sudanese forces, something the AU denies.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.