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Sudan Reclaims Rebel-controlled Area in North Darfur

By VOA News
20 September 2009

The Sudanese army says it has recaptured an area once controlled by rebels in the North Darfur province.

An army announcement Sunday said troops have cleared the remaining Sudan Liberation Movement rebels from Korma region, about 70 kilometers northwest of al-Fashir.

There were no reports of casualties and the government report cannot be independently verified.

The Sudan Liberation Movement has accused the military of encroaching on its territory in recent days, causing many civilians to flee.

Last month, the departing commander of the African Union peacekeeping force, General Martin Agwai, sparked controversy when he said Darfur was no longer in a state of war. He said Darfur still has security issues, but added that most of the area's rebel groups have fragmented, and are not strong enough to do any fighting.

Human rights groups describe the situation in Darfur as a genocide. The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died over six years of fighting between rebel groups and government forces.

Sudan puts the death toll much lower, at 10,000.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, whom it accuses of masterminding a campaign of rape, murder and other crimes against Darfur civilians. Mr. Bashir has rejected the court's authority and has repeatedly traveled abroad in defiance of the arrest warrant.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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