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Fighting ebbs in Darfur, but banditry, attacks on relief workers plague region - UN

10 May 2005 While clashes between Sudanese Government forces and rebels, as well as between armed militias and tribesmen, in wider Darfur have tapered off in the past week, the United Nations mission reported today that banditry continued to plague the northern reaches of the conflict-scarred region.

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said that despite wider calm in the region, opportunistic banditry continues in some areas in North Darfur, where the African Union says the population continues to be in need of humanitarian assistance.

Meanwhile in South Darfur, banditry seemed to have decreased during the last week, but attacks and looting of trucks, including those belonging to the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were still being reported, as were incidents of harassment and detention of some NGO workers, the Mission said.

The difficulties faced by relief workers in the south will be the focus of a meeting tomorrow of the Sub-Joint Implementation Mechanism on Human Rights and Protection, according to UNMIS.

While tensions in the Jebel Moon area of West Darfur have decreased significantly, the UN Mission said its chief concern remained the influx of nomadic tribes from Chad into the areas bordering Sudan.

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