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Sudan stages new Darfur air strikes: UN

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 23:31

United Nations: Sudanese government
warplanes have staged new air strikes in Darfur, prompting the
United Nations to halt flights in the stricken region, UN
officials said on Wednesday.

The UN mission in Darfur, UNAMID, said in a statement
that warplanes yesterday hit the village of Sukamir, which is
near Kuma, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of the main
Darfur city of El Fasher.

That air attack came two days after a strike in the
south of the conflict-stricken region, where the United
Nations says more than 300,000 people have died since an
uprising started in 2003.

"The team will attempt to collect information on
possible casualties and newly displaced persons," according to
the statement, which said UNAMID peacekeepers were trying to
get Sukamir.

UN flights to the regions of Shangil Tobaya, Fanga Suk
and neighbouring regions in North Darfur have been suspended
"due to government officials citing security concerns," said
the mission.

Meanwhile, restrictions on the movement of aid groups
have led to the cancellation of a number of humanitarian
missions in South Darfur, the mission added.

Sudanese warplanes on Sunday bombed the town of Labado
and the village of Esheraya in southern Darfur, according to
the UN. Casualty numbers could not be given as the mission had
not been given access to the Labado region.

Ibrahim Gambari, the UNAMID head, expressed concern
over the air strikes.

"I call upon all parties to exercise the utmost
restraint in the use of lethal force," he said.

Non-government groups and UN agencies operating in
south Sudan were told Tuesday by the Sudanese government that
they would be limited to a zone of 15 kilometres (10 miles)
around the town of Nyala, UNAMID said.


First Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 23:31
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