by AFP on 15 Jul 2010 | Comments
KHARTOUM — Darfur’s rebel Justice and Equality Movement said Tuesday it was locked in fresh fighting with Sudan’s army, a day after the International Criminal Court charged President Omar al-Beshir with genocide.
“Early this morning… 60 four-wheel drive vehicles of Sudan’s army and militia obstructed JEM patrols near Kuma, North Darfur, JEM spokesman Ali Alwafi told AFP.
“The genocidal forces lost the battle and fled to Kuma. Our forces pursued them into the town and destroyed their military camp and captured 34 well-equipped vehicles,” he said.
The United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, or UNAMID, said it was aware of reports that clashes had broken out between JEM and the Sudanese army.
“UNAMID has received as-yet unconfirmed reports of clashes between government forces and the Justice and Equality Movement in North Darfur. Verification missions are planned to confirm these reports,” it said.
The Sudanese army could not be reached to confirm or deny the reports.
On Monday, the army reported clashes involving JEM, one of the most militarised groups in Darfur, and its soldiers in the strategic Adula region between South Darfur, North Darfur and nearby North Kordofan province.
The fighting came as the International Criminal Court announced it has decided to add genocide to the charges against Beshir, who is already wanted since March 2009 for war crimes and crimes against humanity over his role in Darfur’s war.
Darfur, an arid desert region the size of France, has been gripped by a civil war since 2003 that has killed 300,000 people and displaced another 2.7 million, according to UN figures. Khartoum says 10,000 people have died.