The United Nations reports new clashes in Sudan's Darfur region between rebels and government forces. The UN Mission in Sudan says it has evacuated seven staff members from the southern Sharia area to the town of Nyala after the fighting broke out. It also reported clashes in the town of Jabal Marra. On Monday, rebels of the Sudan Liberation Army attacked the government-held town of Golo. The United States condemned the violence, saying the rebels killed a large number of Sudanese military personnel.
Dorina Bekoe of the Washington-based US Institute of Peace told English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje her group’s findings mesh with the UN reports about renewed violence in Darfur. Ms. Bekoe says two main obstacles remain in efforts to resolve the conflict: “The first…pertains to the political settlement not moving along as fast or as productively as it should…. The other is the lack of strong international community support for the African Union’s intervention efforts in Darfur.” Ms. Beko adds, “The African Union has generally been a positive presence and a positive influence in Darfur, especially in protecting women venturing outside the camps.”
The US Institute’s researcher welcomes the recent AU summit’s rejection of Sudan’s bid to chair the organization. She says the move sends “a strong message that Africa takes the Darfur conflict seriously and that the continent fully supports the AU’s intervention efforts to end the conflict.”