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» 07.06.2010 - Sudan protests Uganda non-invitation of al-Bashir
» 28.05.2010 - "al-Bashir would be arrested in SA" - Zuma
» 17.05.2010 - Sudan's Islamist leader Turabi arrested
» 26.02.2010 - Darfur mission receives helicopters
» 24.02.2010 - Ban calls for definitive settlement in Darfur
» 10.02.2010 - Sudan-Chad agree to end wars
» 09.02.2010 - ICC drops charges against a Darfurian rebel
» 04.02.2010 - Additional genocide charge for al-Bashir

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Politics | Human rights

Darfur rebels threaten to recapture town

afrol News, 5 February - The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has warned that it will advance to reclaim a major town of Muhajiriya in southern Darfur that witnessed heavy fighting over the last few days.

The Sudanese army has announced taking control of the strategic Darfur town after three weeks of clashes with rebels that have left more than 30 people dead and displaced thousands.

However, the rebel leader has claimed that their forces were pulled back some 50-60 kilometers away, to avoid more bloodshed in the region.

Reports have also said the UN mission in the region has vowed to stay put in order to protect thousands of civilians and townspeople who have encamped around their UN base for protection.

The JEM spokesperson Ahmed Hussein who attended the AU-UN peace talks with mediator Djibril Bassole in the Chadian capital, reportedly warned Khartoum from entering the town stressing that their troops pulled out to protect the civilians and in consideration of the humanitarian situation there.

Sudan Tribune reported Mr Hussein saying that JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim informed Mr Bassole that they would confront the Sudanese army if it enters the town. The JEM chief said that they will not remain indifferent adding that they have the military capabilities to retake the town.

"We will not allow ourselves to stand with our hands tied behind our backs" Mr Ibrahim reportedly told Mr Bassole.

JEM has taken control of Muhajriya since mid-January after driving out the fighters of former rebels led by Minni Minnawi.

Fighting has escalated at a time when the ICC is due to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on genocide charges.

Rebels took up arms in Sudan's western Darfur region in 2003, citing neglect and marginalisation by the central government. To date 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have been displaced.

Sudanese forces frequently bomb rebel areas in Darfur, despite a UN Security Council ban on military flights over the western region.

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