Sudanese government militias are creating a refugee crisis after destroying
villages in the Darfour region as part of the regime's drive against rebel
The United Nations said it has received testimony from Sudanese refugees
of details of Khartoum's military offensive against the Sudan Liberation
Movement/Army in Darfour. The refugees reported that government militias
have destroyed numerous villages, which has driven tens of thousands of
from Darfour to neighboring Chad.
"Newly arrived Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad report that marauding
militia groups are continuing to burn, loot and empty entire villages in the
Darfur region of western Sudan in a conflict that has sent an estimated
95,000 people fleeing across the border since early last year," a UN
statement said on Friday.
On Friday, the SLM/A reported to have downed a Sudanese military
helicopter in the Abu Qamra region of northern Darfour, Middle East Newsline reported. The group did not
identify the model of the aircraft.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees also reported that hundreds of
thousands of others were believed to have been displaced inside Darfur. UN
agencies said they have provided emergency aid in Chad.
Sudan's military was reported to have made significant gains in Darfour
over the last two weeks. On Wednesday, Sudanese attack helicopters attacked
the Abu Qamra region and killed SLM/A commander Abdullah Abkar Othman. Two
days later, the rebel group said it was prepared to resume ceasefire
negotiations with Khartoum under international auspices.
The military said Othman, another senior commander and 130 rebels were
killed in a two-day battle last week to dislodge the SLM/A from Abu Qamra.
Sudanese government forces were also said to have captured six rebel
with weapons and explosives.
Sudan's military, which accused Eritrea and Israel of helping the
Darfour rebels, has launched a widescale attack in several areas of northern
and southern Darfour. The military was said to have employed Soviet-origin
helicopters and fixed-wing Antonov air transports in attacks on rebel