Violence in Sudan Kills 133 in One Week
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ Renewed violence in western Sudan, apparently by armed Chadian bandits, has killed more than 133 people in one week and burned to the ground 37 villages, the state-run Sudan News Agency reported today.
SUNA said the incidents occurred last week in the Wadi Saleh area of Darfur, 450 miles west of the capital, Khartoum.
Darfur’s governor, Tigani Sysi did not specify what caused the violence, nor who was involved, and only attributed the trouble in his region to ″foreign intervention and the continuation of the Chad conflict,″ SUNA said in a report from El Fasher, Darfur’s regional capital.
Sysi was speaking at a rally attended by Prime Minister Sadek el-Mahdi.
Sudanese leaders have complained bitterly of the spillover of the war between neighboring Libya and Chad.
The leaders say that soldiers from the two states have sought a safe haven from the fighting in Sudan and have committed robberies while in the country.
Armed robbers have killed more than 3,000 civilians and at least 100 policemen in the region since 1984, according to official figures.
SUNA quoted Sisy as saying two tribal chiefs were killed in the Wadi Saleh incident which he said was ″the work of foreign armed bandits.
″Their aim is to occupy rich fertile lands in Wadi Salem.″
This is the first reported incidence of violence in at least three months.
Until October, 2,000 followers of Acheikh Ibn Omar, a Chadian rebel leader, were believed to be hiding somewhere in Sudan.
At the time, Sysi said there were 32 different bandit gangs in Western Sudan, responsible for most of the armed robberies. Police have captured from the foreign outlaws Kalashnikov rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
He had said leaders of four gangs were killed and six other leaders captured during a crackdown in July. He said seven of 1,000 gangsters held in northern Darfur prisons were convicted of armed robbery and condemned to death.
Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi officially declared the prolonged war with Chad ended in May and resumed diplomatic relations last month with the Chadian government of Hissene Habre, formerly his bitter enemy.