Sudan: March 13, 2004


More  refugees are fleeing the Darfur region of western Sudan. The recent spate of government scorched-earth attacks (ie, an area offensive) were described as ferocious. Well, it has always been ferocious, but the reports suggest there is a new wave of government attacks on villages suspected of being sympathetic to the JEM and SLA rebels. Several of the assaults on villages reportedly began with bomb runs by AN-12 transport planes rigged as bombers. The air attack is then followed by troops arriving in trucks. In at least one case pro-government militiamen, some operating on horseback, supported the truck-borne troops. The Sudan government, of course, has repeatedly denied that its forces attack villages. The government maintains its forces are only conducting counter-bandit operations.


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