Sudan bombs Darfour villages as rebels, sure of western support, renew offensive
CAIRO — The Sudanese regime of President Omar Bashir has resumed the
war with rebels in the western province of Darfour.
Officials said the war was sparked by an offensive by the Justice and
Equality Movement, the largest rebel group in Darfour. They said JEM and its
allies, after weeks of threats, captured several towns and villages in
"The rebels, encouraged by the Western condemnation of Sudan, has been
emboldened to renew the war," an official said.
Officials said JEM captured Muhajiriya, a base of the joint African
Union-United Nations, Middle East Newsline reported. On Jan. 15-16, they
said, JEM attacked and seized Muhajiriya from forces led by Minni Arcua
Minnawi, who signed a peace agreement accord with Khartoum in 2006 and has
since become an adviser to Bashir.
In response, the Sudanese Air Force sent bombers to attack Muhajiriya on
Jan. 23. Air force An-27 air transports dropped bombs that landed near the
In 2006, the Khartoum regime pledged to cease all air strikes in
Darfour. On Jan. 22, AU-UN said Sudan's military had violated international
law by firing on civilians in August 2008 in a camp 80 kilometers west of
The International Criminal Court has been deliberating whether to order
the arrest of Bashir on charges of war crimes. Bashir has warned that
Khartoum would retaliate.
The Sudanese military has acknowledged the air strikes on Muhajiriya as
well as the surrounding region. Officials said the military was helping the
besieged troops of Minnawi.