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
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