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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Wednesday 3 August 2005

SUDAN: Violence in Darfur still prevalent - MSF

NAIROBI, 3 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Violence against civilians in the strife-torn western Sudanese region of Darfur remains a serious problem, the international humanitarian aid organisation, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), said on Wednesday.

"Our teams are still witnessing repeated violence against the population," Rowan Gillies, president of MSF-international, said in a statement.

"We are deeply concerned about this and its consequences for our patients and their families," he added.

Without saying who was responsible for the violence, MSF said in the last three weeks alone, it had treated 52 people for violence-related injuries.

From January to May 2005, MSF teams treated more than 500 people for violence-related injuries and 278 women for rape.

On 24 July, in Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur State, MSF said it had witnessed an attack on an internally displaced persons' (IDPs) camp next to the organisation's clinic.

Grenades were used in the attack, and shelters in the camp were burnt down, forcing hundreds of IDPs to once again flee for their lives. MSF said it had treated 14 people - including four children - for bullet and shrapnel wounds.

On 9 June, the agency said it had examined and treated 15 women who had been attacked the previous day in Korma, North Darfur. It found that five of them had been raped, one of whom was aged just 15, while another was three-months pregnant.

"Rape has remained a prevalent problem for the women of Darfur," James Lorenz, MSF communications officer in Nairobi, Kenya, told IRIN.

Between October 2004 and February 2005, MSF reported that it had treated more than 500 rape victims in South and West Darfur states.

The war in Darfur pits Sudanese government troops and militias - allegedly allied to the government - against rebels, mainly from the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, who are fighting to end what they say is the marginalisation of and discrimination against the region's inhabitants by the state.

The UN estimates that since the start of the conflict in February 2003, over a third of the total population - more than 2.5 million people, including nearly 1.9 million IPDs - have been affected.

[ENDS]

This material comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but May not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2005



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