KHARTOUM - Fresh inter-rebel fighting has forced 10,000 Darfuris to seek refuge near a camp of African Union forces monitoring a widely-ignored truce in Sudan's west, sources said today.
UN spokeswoman Radhia Achouri said only two aid agencies were working in the Muhajiriya area and they were unable to cope with the strain of the new arrivals fleeing fighting in nearby Gereida in south Darfur.
"The humanitarian situation (is) alarming and requires immediate attention," said one AU source who declined to be named. The source added pockets of rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) soldiers were patrolling the town.
Achouri said it was not clear which rebel groups were involved in the fighting. The towns of Muhajiriya and Gereida are controlled by the Minni Arcua Minnawi SLA faction, the only one of three negotiating rebel factions to sign a May peace deal with the government.
Khartoum has refused a UN takeover of the cash-strapped and struggling AU force in Darfur. The AU has extended its mandate until the end of the year but has indicated it is unwilling and unable to continue in Darfur indefinitely.
Observers say Khartoum fears UN troops will be used to arrest officials likely to be indicted by the International Criminal Court investigating alleged war crimes in Darfur.
The AU source added that in Gereida, at least two women were raped in recent days. The women were from the non-Arab Massaleit tribe.
On Wednesday the Sudanese Organisation Against Torture reported one of Darfur's most volatile camps, Kalma Camp in South Darfur, was attacked by armed militia and two men from the non-Arab Fur tribe were killed and another injured.
Tens of thousands have been killed and 2.5 million forced to flee their homes during 3-1/2 years of rebellion in Darfur. Rape and murder have been widespread and many of the victims have been from the non-Arab tribes who initiated the revolt.