Sudan: New Violence Breaks Out Everywhere

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September 22, 2005: Darfur rebels claim that soldiers and pro-government tribal militia are increasing their raids on villages, killing, raping and stealing as they do. At least 30 villagers have been killed in these raids in the last week. The government denies any responsibility.  The UN and AU observers confirm that there has been an increase in violence in Darfur in the last month, but has a hard time confirming specific claims by the rebels. The government blames all the violence on rebels or bandits. There are bandits operating in the region, but pro-government militias, and soldiers, have been spotted attacking non-Arab civilians as well. 

September 20, 2005:  In Darfur, soldiers attacked rebels holding the town of Sheiria, and claim that the rebels were driven out. Later, the government changed their story, and said that their troops had repulsed the initial rebel attack on Sheiria. No one has been able to get to the scene to confirm either version of events.  

September 19, 2005:  Darfur rebels attacked the town of Sheiria, which is 70 kilometers northeast of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state. Army troops garrisoned the town. It was a surprise attack involving up to 800 rebel fighters. The rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) at first denied the attack occurred then later issued a statement acknowledging its forces attacked the town. At least 80 soldiers died in the attack, indicating a major battle Attacking a garrison means the town was scouted beforehand and the attack planned carefully. The SLA and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM-- the other main rebel group in Darfur) both claim that Sudan government-sponsored militias are once again attacking farm villages in western Darfur. 

September 16, 2005: In Darfur, soldiers have been attacking JEM positions over the last four days.

September 15, 2005:  Darfur rebels and government negotiators begin talks on a peace deal.  Both sides accuse the other of breaking the cease fire. 

In the south, LRA rebels from Uganda raided villages for food and slaves. 

September 14, 2005:  The Darfur rebel group NMRD ( National Movement for Reform and Development)  said that they would resume fighting because they were not allowed to participate in the peace talks. NMRD had  agreed to a ceasefire earlier in the year. NMRD claims that troops and pro-government militia continue to attack them. 

September 7, 2005: East Sudan rebels  (the Free Lions and the Beja Congress) released three politicians they had kidnapped on May 24th. This was dove via Red Cross negotiators. No ransom was  paid. One of the Darfur rebel groups (Justice and Equality Movement, or JEM), says it is working with the east Sudan rebels. 

 


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