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Darfur too insecure for aid groups - UN

15 April 2013, 13:35

Khartoum – At least 35 000 people may have been affected by fighting in Sudan's southern Darfur region, but authorities have told aid agencies it is not safe for them to access the area, the United Nations said on Monday.

Residents fled after rebel attacks and "possible" air strikes around the towns of Muhagiriya and Labado, about 100km east of the South Darfur state capital Nyala, international peacekeepers have said.

"Apparently the authorities deemed it too insecure for aid agencies to go there," said Damian Rance, of the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"We assume that there's a population of more than 35 000 people that has been affected," he added, but agencies would first need to reach the area and assess the situation.

Thousands of the displaced residents sought protection around bases of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid), the peacekeeping mission said.

The Sudan Liberation Army's Minni Minnawi faction still claimed to be in control of Muhagiriya and Labado on Monday, an unusual nine-day occupation by insurgents who have traditionally staged hit-and-run attacks.


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