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Ugandan rebels continue attacks on civilians in southern Sudan - UN

19 October 2005 Attacks on civilians in southern Sudan by elements of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) remain a major concern of humanitarian agencies operating in the area, the United Nations Assistance Mission in the war-torn country said today.

Humanitarian access to affected areas remains limited, preventing agencies from forming a clear picture of the numbers of affected populations and delivering much-needed assistance to them, according to the mission, known by its acronym UNAMIS.

Also in the south, humanitarian agencies are deeply troubled by the continued extortion and even forced conscription of returnees by local militias, according to the mission. Negotiations to bring such practices to an immediate end are ongoing.

Meanwhile, humanitarian access to populations in need is increasingly difficult throughout the three states of Darfur, UNMIS said. Armed clashes and banditry in West Darfur have practically isolated the humanitarian community with all roads out of town restricted. In West Darfur alone, assistance to 170,000 people is temporarily restricted.

In North Darfur, three separate and serious clashes have been reported within the last six days involving the government troops, Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) rebels and militia. Throughout Darfur, villagers report continuous harassment by nomads and militia through looting, banditry and the forced payment of “protection taxes,” UNMIS said.

 



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