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Sudanese Police, Darfur Rebels Die in Clashes

Eight former Darfur rebels and two Sudanese police officers were killed during clashes on Saturday outside of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Noel King in Khartoum reports that the former rebels of the Sudan Liberation Movement say they were attacked by Sudanese police and call the fighting a grave threat to the Darfur Peace Agreement.

A spokesman for Darfur's former rebel Sudan Liberation Movement says police attacked a home for wounded SLM soldiers in Omderman, burning three cars and looting computers.

SLM spokesman Saif Haroun said eight former rebels were killed in the fighting.

The SLM, lead by Commander Minni Minnawi, was the only Darfur rebel faction to sign on to the Darfur Peace Agreement with the government of Sudan, last May.

Spokesman Haroun told VOA the fighting will undermine the already shaky peace agreement between the government of Sudan and former rebels.

"This kind of behavior will destroy everything," said Haroun. "We signed the peace agreement with the government. If the government keeps behaving like that I think its going to be very serious and very dangerous for the agreement itself."

The SLM said it did not know why the house was attacked.

The Reuters News Agency reports that Sudanese authorities said the former rebels would not turn over two of their members who were involved in a traffic accident.

The former rebels are, on paper, part of a coalition government with Sudan's powerful Islamist regime.

Commander Minni Minnawi rose to the position of senior advisor to Sudanese President Omer Al Bashir.

But since the signing of the accord, SLM members have complained that they have been marginalized within the administration.

The Darfur conflict has raged for four years. Other Darfur rebel groups have refused to sign onto the peace deal saying it does not meet their demands of wealth and power sharing.