Khartoum - Rebels in Sudan's Darfur said on Monday they were
near a key town as demonstrations continued against a donors' conference where
billions of dollars were pledged to rebuild the region.
The insurgents said they moved in to Ashma village, 8km from
the South Darfur state capital Nyala.
Ashma was "occupied by our forces" on Sunday, said
Hussein Minnawi of the Sudan Liberation Army's Minni Minnawi faction.
He did not know whether rebels were still there on Monday,
but he said they continued to hold Muhagiriya and Labado, about 100km east.
The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid)
confirmed that Minnawi rebels "attacked and seized" the two towns
early on Saturday.
Peacekeepers also reported "several possible air
strikes" in the area and said thousands of civilians had sought protection
around Unamid bases.
Sudan's army said it responded to a Minnawi faction attack
late Monday in South Darfur, killing a number of rebels.
Violence has also been reported in Umm Dukhun, in Darfur's
"Unamid has received reports that in the last two to
three days there have been more clashes, with an unspecified number of
victims," after a member of the Misseriya tribe shot a Salamat tribe
member, said Unamid spokesperson Aicha Elbasri.
A civil society activist said on Monday that demonstrations
in camps for displaced people had continued for three days in opposition to a
Darfur donors' conference in the Gulf state of Qatar.
"They said basically that the people in Doha are not
representing us," said the activist, declining to be named.
The United Nations says 1.4 million people are still living
in camps for the internally displaced, a decade after Minnawi and other rebels
from black tribes began their uprising against the Arab-dominated Khartoum
While the worst of the violence has long passed,
rebel-government clashes continue along with inter-Arab battles, kidnappings,
carjackings and other crimes.
"The conflict damaged and destroyed infrastructure,
seriously curtailed markets and disrupted trade, employment and, as confidence eroded,
investment in much-needed development of the region diminished," says a
draft of the development strategy discussed at the Doha conference.
"Poverty levels in Darfur are among the highest in the
country," it added.
Qatar said on Monday the conference raised $3.6bn in pledges
under the strategy which aims to lay a foundation for Darfur's lasting
"This is what they say on paper," Minnawi said,
dismissing the effort and calling instead for a solution within the context of
what he called Sudan's wider crisis "which is mainly from the centre"
He and other rebels, along with Sudanese opposition parties,
want a "democratic federal state... based on equality", with a
separation between religion and government.