AFRICA/SUDAN - Clashes between Arab tribes in western Sudan region of Darfur, where UN Secretary General is to visit today

Monday, 3 September 2007

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - The crisis in Darfur becomes more complicated just as international diplomacy intensifies efforts to find a solution. The Secretary General of the United Nations Organisation, Ban Ki-moon will visit Sudan today 3 September to give new impulse to diplomatic activity of the international community. Ban Ki-moon will try to convince the president of Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir, to agree to respect a UN plan to deploy 26,000 UN and AU peacekeepers in Darfur.
The mission's task will be to supply a security frame for international humanitarian activity and stop armed militia groups from carrying out massacres of civilians. The conflict in Darfur has been described as a struggle between African and Arab ethnic groups. The Africans formed various guerrilla movements and demand more effort on the part of the central government to promote development in the region. The Arabs in paramilitary groups supported by the government attack villages whose inhabitants are of African origin. However in recent months this interpretation entered a crisis when fighting broke out among the Arab groups themselves. According to the international media Arab Terjem and Maria guerrillas in southern Darfur have fought each other several times with machine guns and anti tank missiles.
According to UN personnel in the area, tribal clashes are causing more casualties than battles between the army and rebels groups, which are diminishing. International observers fear further fragmentation of these local armed groups some of which consist of bandits without any political claims, increasing the complexity of the mission of the international force which should start deployment at the end of this year. In the meantime Sudan's Internal Minister accused the rebels in Darfur of killing 41 civilians in an attack on 30 August against a UN building in Kordofan. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 3/9/2007 righe 32 parole 367)