Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Thousands at risk as Darfur fighters prepare attack: U.N.
Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:27pm EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Andrew Heavens
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Darfur fighters who signed a peace deal with Sudan's government are poised to attack a strategic town, putting the lives of 30,000 civilians at risk, peacekeepers said on Sunday.
Forces loyal to Minni Arcua Minnawi, a former rebel leader who is now a presidential assistant, were preparing a counter-attack on Muhajiriya after losing it to rival rebels last week, said the joint U.N./African Union mission (UNAMID).
The threat of a new wave of violence raised tensions ahead of a decision by the International Criminal Court on whether to issue an arrest warrant against Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur.
More than 20 people were injured when Minnawi's wing of the Sudan Liberation Army clashed with the insurgent Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on Thursday on the outskirts of the town in south Darfur.
JEM at the time said it had taken control of Muhajiriya, seen as a stronghold of Minnawi who was the only Darfur rebel leader to sign a peace deal with the government in 2006. Officials from Minnawi's movement denied losing the town.
UNAMID on Sunday released a statement confirming JEM was now in control of the settlement, 80 km (50 Miles) from Nyala, the capital of south Darfur.
It added it had reports Minnawi's forces were regrouping for a counter-attack to regain control of Muhajiriya and that it had grave concern for the civilian population.
Minnawi was not immediately available for comment and officials from his presidential assistant office in Khartoum said they did not have information on military preparations.
Senior JEM commander Suleiman Sandal told Reuters his forces had not originally intended to take the town, but had taken control of the territory after fighting off an attack from Minnawi's troops.
"We have control of the town and we are carrying out patrols. Minnawi is not our target. We will keep it and all the territory we control in Darfur," Sandal said.
"Our target is the National Congress Party (the dominant party of Sudan's president)," he added.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has asked judges to issue an arrest warrant against Bashir, accusing him of orchestrating genocide in the region.
Senior government officials have said JEM is building up its forces for a major assault on oil fields and cities in Darfur as soon as the judges make their ruling, expected in coming weeks.
International experts say 200,000 have died and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes since mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against Sudan's government, accusing it of neglect.
Khartoum mobilised mostly Arab militias to crush the revolt and deny accusations from activists that genocide was committed during the counter-insurgency. Continued...
View article on single page
Also on Reuters
Video: Obama in triumphal train ride to DC
Almost all U.S. cities to lose jobs in 2009: forecast
"Spring Breakdown" lightens Sundance
More International News
Hamas and Israel separately announce Gaza ceasefire
U.S. urges Russia to resume gas flow after Ukraine deal
North Korea says plutonium "weaponized" and off-limits
Afghanistan held back by weak leadership: NATO
Mugabe urges opposition to accept power-sharing deal
More International News...
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Venezuela's Chavez says Obama has "stench" of Bush
U.S. welcomes Gaza ceasefire, Iran says not enough
Man charged with threatening Obama on website
Two U.S. banks fail, first casualties in 2009
Hamas and Israel separately announce Gaza ceasefire | Video
Israel, Hamas hold fire for now in Gaza | Video
Hamas announces ceasefire after Israel declares truce
Crashed jet raised from Hudson River | Video
Global lending thaw may yet return to deep freeze
Steer clear of peanut butter: U.S. authorities
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
"The Miracle on the Hudson"
CCTV captures U.S. plane splashdown
Obama's new home front
Obama in triumphal train ride to DC
Washington preps for Obama
Auto slowdown worries Michigan city
Israel plans Gaza ceasefire
UN school in Gaza hit by shells
Splashdown plane raised from river
Gaza doctor in mobile phone plea
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
the great debate
In Gaza war, lions led by donkeys?
It's not often that a senior member of Washington's usually staid and cautious foreign policy establishment likens Israeli political leaders to donkeys and questions their competence. But the fighting in Gaza prompted Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies to do just that. Commentary
Blog: Reporting in Gaza: Striving for fairness
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.