Sudan: Heavy Fighting Breaks Out


October 11, 2006: Fighting along the Chad border in the last week has left several hundred soldiers and rebels dead or wounded. The fighting throughout Darfur has left about a quarter of a million refugees cut off from food aid and in danger of starvation.
October 10, 2006: Darfur rebel groups and the Sudan government both reported a battle near a Darfur rebel base near the Sudan-Chad border. The base was manned by rebels belonging to the National Redemption Front (NRF).
The UN is now reporting that the Sudan government's offensive in late August killed "several hundred" civilians in North Darfur. Some 45 villages suffered from government and government-sponsored militia attacks. The Sudan government has disputed the reports. The UN also said that refugees reported the attack on the village of Buram was conducted by a militia drawn from the Habbania tribe (an "Arabized" tribe). Collecting evidence about many of these attacks is difficult. The victims flee the militias and disperse into the countryside. It may take days or weeks before they reach a refugee camp or encounter a relief station. That's when the relief workers (and later journalists) begin to get a few of the details. Casualties are often hard to estimate because the refugees have lost contact with the village �" or were fortunate enough to escape before the slaughter began.
October 6, 2006: The UN believes that violence in Darfur is intensifying. The Secretary-General's report said that 400,000 people had died in fighting in Darfur since early 2003.
October 5, 2006: The US called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and denounced Sudan for attempting to "intimidate" nations that might be considering providing troops to a future UN peacekeeping force in Darfur. The government of Sudan sent a letter to several dozen nations that said it would consider the provision of peacekeeping troops to be "a hostile act." Sudan once again played "the invasion card" by calling the raising for a peacekeeping force a "prelude to invasion."
Some nations have promised small troops contingents, Norway has agreed to provide 250 supply troops. Norway and Sweden would also man an engineer battalion. Bangladesh. Tanzania, and Nigeria have said they would consider sending infantry units.
October 2, 2006: The Sudan government said that it had not reached a ceasefire agreement with the National Redemption Front, a Darfur rebel faction composed of former members of the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. The Sudanese government said rumors that a ceasefire deal was imminent are not true.
The Sudan government also said that African Union peacekeepers can stay in Darfur "until the crisis is over but not indefinitely." The Sudan government definitely prefers the hapless AU force to a more robust UN-sponsored peacekeeping force.


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