Sudan + 1 more

Sudanese war planes bomb South Darfur villages - rebels

September 23, 2010 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese military warplanes bombed during the last two days villages in southern and eastern Jebel Marra killing 18 people, the rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) said on Thursday.

Nimir Abdel Rahman, spokesperson of the SLA led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur said military Antonov bombarded several areas in Jebel Marra and burned Harika village northern Draibat in South Darfur state.

The bombing, which started on Wednesday and resumed today, killed 18 people including three children, four women and eight old men, he further said.

The Sudanese army bombs regularly the positions of the rebel group which is not part in the Doha peace talks.

The Paris based SLM/A leader, Abdel Wahid Al-Nur asks Khartoum to disarm militias and to reestablish security in the restive region to crate suitable atmosphere for the return of displaced civilians to their homeland.

The government announced a new strategy to end the seven year conflict based on the return of IDPs to their villages, development projects and involving local authorities and civil society in the peace process.

The government also for the first time since six months allowed UNICEF, and World Health Organization and aid groups as the French MDM to reach Jebel Marra as part of this new policy aiming to build confidence and to have a new approach with the civilians.

However, Nimir said the army forces in Draibat prevented UNICEF and MDM from supplying areas under rebels' control with school material and medication.

"They stopped a convey heading from Nyala to Fina in Kadmir," Nimir said.

The rebel military official said the humanitarian situation in the region is very critical. He further urged the international community on the eve of a special meeting on Sudan in New York to put pressure on the Sudanese government to allow the distribution of food and medicine in the region.

He also said the international community has to press Khartoum to withdraw Ugandan rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from the region. The SLA spokesperson said the LRA fighters are in Kanja and Radoom.

This is not the first time that a rebel group claims that the LRA elements exist in the region. This month the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement said the Ugandan rebels clashed twice with their fighters in South Darfur near the border with the Central African Republic.

Nimir declared they are willing to cooperate with Uganda, Southern Sudan, Central African Republic, and Congo to face the danger coming from the LRA rebels in the region.

(ST)