Darfur continues to deteriorate: UN report
Jarrett Martineau | February 20, 2008 at 01:50 pmby
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And so do blind eyes continue to be turned...
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday in a new report to the Security Council that the situation in Sudan's Western Darfur region was deteriorating and more peacekeepers were urgently needed.
"Over the past two months the security situation in Western Darfur deteriorated significantly as Chadian regular forces and the (Darfur rebel) Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) launched several attacks inside Sudanese territory," Ban said in the report to the 15-nation council.
Darfur rebels said on Wednesday that 15 civilians had been killed in bombing raids by Sudanese government planes near the Chad border, part of an offensive to clear out insurgents.
The Sudanese army said it had launched a "cleansing" operation in the rebel-held mountainous region to open the way for humanitarian access and to rid it of Darfur and Chadian insurgents, saying they were attacking civilians.
"I remain extremely concerned by the security situation on the ground," Ban said in his regular monthly report on Darfur.
"Humanitarian conditions and access to civilians in need of assistance have been severely undermined by recent hostilities between government and JEM-Khalil Ibrahim forces in Western Darfur and...continued build-up of their forces in the area."