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Militia in Darfur surround camp for displaced people, humanitarian work suspended: UN

Militia in Darfur surround camp for displaced people, humanitarian work suspended: UN

Hundreds of Arab militia in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region recently surrounded a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) after abducting two civilians from inside the camp, forcing the temporary suspension of humanitarian work there, the United Nations mission to the impoverished country said today.

On Wednesday, Arab militiamen swept through Ardamata IDP camp in west Darfur, capturing two civilians in connection with the killing of one of their relatives, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said in a press release, adding the two suspects had then been taken to the Government police station but the militia refused to allow the officers to investigate.

Later, they handed the two suspects over to the Military Intelligence/Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) camp in Ardamata.

“Some 250 militiamen surrounded Ardamata camp on the east and north side demanding a meeting with community leaders. Humanitarian operations in the camp have been temporarily suspended,” UNMIS said.

Separately in south Darfur, deadly fighting again erupted between the Targem and Rezegat tribes in Yara, 40 kilometres northwest of Kass, during which three Targems were killed while in their homes.

Turning to southern Sudan, UNMIS has been facilitating a 10-day Peace, Reconciliation and Justice Conference in Raja, aimed at diffusing tension between the communities arising from militia activity and a high influx of refugees fleeing the violence in Darfur.

In related developments, a UN spokesperson told reporters today in New York that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that food security in southern Sudan will improve this year. However she added that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that more than 100,000 tons of food aid will be required by 1.3 million people, including displaced persons and refugees returning home.