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AU waters down darfur security proposal
African Union mediators have watered down a security blueprint for Sudan's crisis-ridden Darfur province to try to keep rebels and the government at the negotiating table. Delegates at peace talks in Abuja said on Wednesday the mediators had dropped proposals that rebels confine their troops to base, and had not given a timeframe for the key rebel demand of disarming pro-government Janjaweed militia.

New un resolution on darfur
The US has presented a new draft UN resolution to pressure Sudan to resolve the conflict in the Darfur region. The draft calls for an enlarged African Union monitoring force in Darfur, and repeats the threat of sanctions if the Sudanese government does not comply. US officials have denied they are "going easy" on Khartoum by allowing it a further 30 days to comply.

Prospects for peace in sudan
"The Government of Sudan is pursuing the high-risk strategy of seeking a solution on its own terms in Darfur, anticipating that international interests in the Naivasha process will allow it to prevail. It may yet be proven right. It has made only modest progress in implementing its commitments in Darfur, focusing its efforts on building an international coalition opposed to sanctions. The practical obstacles to ensuring security are considerable, but the GoS needs to demonstrate much more goodwill and determination." This is according to a briefing on Sudan by Justice Africa.
(The above links are from PAMBAZUKA, A Weekly Electronic Forum For Social Justice In Africa. To view online, go to

Tens of thousands of new IDPs in South Darfur

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

NAIROBI, 13 September (IRIN) - Tens of thousands of newly displaced people (IDPs) fleeing renewed violence in the Sudanese state of South Darfur have arrived at the Gereida camp, 100 km south of the town of Nyala, the international aid agency Oxfam Canada said.

"The camp population increased from 10,000 to 40,000 within seven days," Gemma Swart, Oxfam Canada communications officer in Sudan, told IRIN on Monday. "There was increased violence in the rural areas around Gereida which led to people fleeing their homes and coming into the camp."

"They left quickly - some by donkey, others walking. Two children drowned trying to cross a "wadi" [small river] at night," she said. "Those who arrived at the camp had nothing. I saw people trying to build shelters using sticks they had collected from their neighbours," Swart added.

The relief agency warned that the camp had been overwhelmed by the fresh arrivals. Its population increased from 10,000 IDPs on 26 August to over 40,000 by 7 September. "People are still arriving every day," Oxfam said in a statement on Friday.

"Literally, tens of thousands of people have poured into the camp in recent days and the flow still hasn't stopped. A quadrupling of numbers puts a massive strain on resources and infrastructure," Oxfam said.

The United Nations in Sudan said the influx had resulted from security problems in the area. "We have received reports from NGOs that there is a fresh influx of IDPs into the camp," Jennifer Abrahamson, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, told IRIN on Monday. "There are still security problems in that area."

Oxfam said most of the new arrivals had arrived in the camp between 28 and 30 August. "Oxfam is one of only two agencies working in the camp and the new arrivals are currently without even the basics such as plastic sheeting for shelter," it said.

According to other relief workers, the IDPs have been fleeing continuing clashes between Sudanese government forces and rebels who claim to be fighting because Darfur region has been marginalised. They are also fleeing attacks by Janjawid militia, who were initially armed by the government to fight the rebels but have been accused by human rights groups of turning their guns on civilians.

On 8 September, OCHA had reported that thousands of newly displaced persons, reporting fresh hostilities, had arrived in a camp near El Fasher, administrative capital of North Darfur State. It said the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the Norwegian Refugee Council were following up
reports that a large number of new IDPs had also arrived in Kalma camp from Yassin area, southeast of Nyala.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the United Nations Security Council to increase the international presence in Darfur and impose an extended arms embargo to stop continuing atrocities there.

In a letter to members of the Security Council, HRW also called on the Security Council to establish an accountability mechanism and address serious concerns posed by "safe areas" proposed for the region.

"The international community must demonstrate that it will not tolerate continuing atrocities committed by Sudanese armed forces and allied Janjawid militias," Peter Takirambudde, executive director of HRW's division, said.

At least 1.2 million people in Darfur are internally displaced and another 200,000 have fled over the border into neighbouring Chad because of attacks by the Janjawid and because of fighting between government soldiers and rebels. According to the UN, Darfur is experiencing one of
the worst humanitarian crises in the world. (Source: IRIN)

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