Sudan: No Peace While Atrocities Continue in the West with 200 Killed this Week

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: 'Amnesty International is receiving reports of hundreds of civilians who have been killed and their villages destroyed, and thousands of people seeking refuge in neighbouring Chad.

'We understand that more than 200 people have been killed this week, most of them Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights. We also have the names of Children's rights said to have been abducted by government-supported militias.

'Important progress has been made at the peace talks in Kenya on the long-running civil war in the south of the country. But at the same time the conflict and the humanitarian crisis in Darfur is worsening. A lasting peace cannot be secured in Sudan while the human rights abuses of the war in the south are being repeated in Darfur.'

According to UN figures 3,000 people, mostly civilians, have already died in the conflict in Darfur between the government and two armed opposition groups, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Most of the killing and destruction has been carried out by the government-supported militias known as the 'Janjawid,' but the Sudanese air force has also bombed villages.

Over the past week more than 200 people, mostly Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights, have reportedly been killed and scores of villages around Zalingei town in West Darfur state have been attacked. 7,000 people have had to flee their homes and are now said to be sheltering in the bush around Zalingei or heading towards Chad. At least thirteen people, including Children's rights as young as nine, were reportedly abducted by Janjawid from Ma'un village near Kornoy on 2 January 2004. There have also been other reports of abductions of Children's rights and adults.

Since April 2003 a mass exodus has taken place from the areas in Darfur which have been attacked. More than 700,000 people have fled their homes, mostly to other towns in Darfur while over 90,000 have crossed the border to Chad. Towns in Darfur have doubled in size as a result of the intake of those displaced. Yet the Sudan government is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Darfur by apparently allowing the militias a free hand to raid, kill and destroy while restricting the movement of humanitarian organisations in Darfur.

Kate Allen continued: 'These reports are a worrying reminder of what took place in the Bahr al-Ghazal region west of Khartoum during the height of the conflict with the SPLA when at least 12,000 people, mostly Children's rights or young men from southern ethnic groups, were abducted by northern militias supported by the Sudanese Government.

'International human rights monitors must be immediately deployed and a commission of inquiry should be established into the crisis in Darfur.'

Scores of activists from Darfur have been arrested on suspicion of supporting the Darfur opposition. They have been held in incommunicado detention without charge. Many have reported suffering beatings or other torture or ill-treatment during their detention.

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