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Darfur: Mission Far From Accomplished

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Darfur: Mission Far From Accomplished

Posted by Laura Heaton on September 22, 2009

If outgoing U.N. commander Martin Luther Agwai didn’t look out of touch enough when he declared “no war as of now” in Darfur a couple of weeks ago, reports from the region this week should serve to discredit Agwai’s assessment all together.

From the BBC yesterday:

A faction of the main rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), said the latest clashes [in Korma in northern Darfur] broke out on Thursday and continued into Friday.

The group said 20 civilians were killed during the fighting.
In a statement, the Sudanese military confirmed the clashes but said nothing about casualties.

The statement said only that government forces had "purged the areas of the remnants" of the SLA.

A spokesperson for the U.N. mission in Darfur said that a team would be dispatched today to the scene of last week’s fighting to assess the security and humanitarian situation. Attempted investigative patrols to Korma, near Jebel Marra, over the past few days have not gotten through because SLA and Sudanese government forces have each warned that the security situation is too tenuous.

In addition to ongoing reports of insecurity, a map recently released by the U.S. Department of State pinpoints the villages in Darfur that have been either damaged or destroyed between February 2003 and August 2009. The large swaths of red (signifying destroyed villages) and orange (damaged villages) paint a dramatic picture of challenges that lay ahead for the 3 million Darfuris still living in camps in Sudan and eastern Chad, who are eager to return to their homes and rebuilt their lives.

To see all the details in the full-size version, click here.