Darfur sees bloodiest month in two years: U.N.

Darfur sees bloodiest month in two years: U.N.
# 07 June 2010 20:34 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Nearly 600 people died in rebel and tribal fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region in May, the bloodiest month that the territory has seen in more than two years, U.N. officials said on Monday, APA reports quoting “Reuters”.
Violence in the seven-year-old conflict has spiked since one of the main rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), announced in early May it was freezing its participation in peace talks.
The death toll underlined the challenge facing mediators seeking to resolve a conflict that has continued in the face of pressure from Washington, war crimes prosecutions by the International Criminal Court and campaigning by activists.
"There were 491 confirmed deaths and 108 unconfirmed deaths," said one official from Darfur’s joint U.N./African Union UNAMID peacekeeping force who added it was the largest death count recorded since the force set up in January 2008.
The data was released as Sudan’s government was due to resume troubled peace talks with an umbrella group of small Darfur insurgent factions in Doha, capital of Qatar.
"The figure is very high. This was caused by tribal fighting and fighting with JEM," said another UNAMID official. Both officials spoke on condition they not be identified.
JEM announced last month it was freezing participation in the Doha talks, protesting against the involvement of other insurgents in the negotiations and accusing Khartoum of breaking an earlier ceasefire.
JEM said on Monday it would continue to boycott the negotiations and was clashing "continuously" with Sudanese army forces in south and central Darfur. No one was immediately available for comment from Sudan’s army.
JEM was one of two mostly non-Arab rebel factions that took up arms against Sudan’s government in 2003, accusing it of neglecting the development of the region.
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