Darfur: unprecedented attack on IDP camp signals worsening of conflict

At least 29 IDPs were killed and several others seriously injured when the Aro Sharow camp in Sudan's West Darfur region was attacked by several hundred armed militiamen at the end of September. This is the first time since the Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003 that an IDP camp has come under direct attack, and signals an alarming deterioration in the security situation in the region. At the same time a spate of attacks on villages in North Darfur has displaced more than 5,000 people in recent weeks and severely hampered humanitarian access to IDP camps in the region. UNHCR has expressed concern that the lack of access and worsening humanitarian situation may push IDPs to cross the border into neighbouring Chad, which is already struggling to cope with 200,000 refugees from Darfur in extremely difficult conditions. Renewed peace talks in the Nigerian capital Abuja have so far failed to find a solution to the conflict that has internally displaced some 1.8 million people.