Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sudan rejects claims of new Darfur troops buildup

By PETER MWAI, NATION Reporter

Sudan on Thursday dismissed reports by UNAMID peacekeepers that there has been build-up of Sudanese army and rebel troops in the troubled Darfur region.

The spokesman for the Sudanese armed forces said the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has no power to mobilise in the area.

“The UNAMID warning is an unjustified exaggeration of the power of (JEM),” said Alsoarmi Khaled Saad in a statement.

The joint United Nations/African Union peacekeeping mission had warned of a build-up of Sudanese army and rebel troops near Shangil Tobayi, a strategic town in North Darfur.

The security situation in the area has deteriorated after peace talks between the government and rebels stalled.

According to the mission, long running tribal clashes in the remote western region have killed 107 people since March.

“The security situation in North Darfur is tense following reports of an increase in the presence of government troops and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) forces in the Shangil Tobay region,” UNAMID said in a statement on Tuesday.

Dismissing the warning, the armed forces spokesman termed the reports by the mission inaccurate.

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