Sudanese MPs call for greater international help

16 December 2003
A group a MPs representing the residents of the western Darfur region on 15 December called on the international community to lend greater support in ending the cycle of violence in the region. The MPs said that Arab militias in the region - known locally as Janjaweed - were killing between 50 and 100 local residents every week, and despite peace talks in neighbouring Chad, little progress was being made. 'There is an international responsibility to intervene as quickly as possible,' the MPs said. 'Any negotiation that is not monitored by the international community will lead to nothing - Chad alone cannot broker peace - it is also affected by this war,' they said. 'Tribes from Chad are fighting in Sudan and they are affected politically so it cannot act independently.' Jafar Ismail, MP for Beida in Darfur state, said Arab militias had on 13 December raided and burnt down seven villages in his constituency, killing 19 people and injuring at least 37.

Fighting in the Darfur region has recently intensified. On 7 December, Sudanese rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), said that it had killed about 700 government troops in the west of the Darfur region on 5 December. The alleged incident took place near the Abu Gamra dam, some 45 kilometres north of Kebkabiya, in the north of the region (MEED 11:12:03).

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