Renewed Darfur fighting concerns U.N.

Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Fighting in Sudan's trouble region of Darfur is taking a toll in the state of security for civilians, a U.N. peacekeeping leader said.

Aichatou Mindaoudou, acting special envoy to the African Union-U.N. Hybrid Operation in Darfur, said she was concerned about fighting between rival groups in Darfur. Nearly 1,000 families have been displaced as a result of the fighting.

A statement from the mission said the envoy was concerned about the safety of civilians in the area.

"Mindaoudou also stressed that all parties involved in the conflict should respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law," a mission statement read.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is the subject of a 2009 arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed in Darfur. An estimated 300,000 people have died there as a result of fighting between rebel forces and the government-supported Janjaweeed militia.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the U.N. Security Council last month there may be ongoing crimes in Darfur that could concern the court.

The U.S. State Department this week offered rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the arrest of alleged al-Qaida supporters accused of killing U.S. Agency for International Development diplomat John Granville and USAID employee Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama in the region in 2008.

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