July 28, 2011 / 5:38 AM / in 6 years

Sudan carries out air strikes in Darfur: UNAMID

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan carried out air strikes on a village in Darfur, killing one civilian, peacekeepers UNAMID said on Wednesday, in the first confirmed strike since Khartoum signed a peace deal with small rebel group Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) two weeks ago.

The distribution of 40,000 litres of water is seen among the local community in El Srief, North Darfur, July 25, 2011. The nearest water point is 15 km away and women have to spend 6 hours a day to collect water for their families. Due to the drought, the community leaders report that the lack of water is severe in the area. Picture taken July 25, 2011. REUTERS/Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMID Handout

A UNAMID spokeswoman said it was unclear exactly when the strikes near Abu Hamara in South Darfur took place. A spokesman for the Sudanese army was not immediately available for comment.

The UNAMID spokesman said the attack could have taken place around the time of a peace agreement between Khartoum and LJM.

Analysts see little significance in the Qatar-brokered deal as the Darfur’s biggest rebel groups have rejected it. Rebel divisions and continued fighting have been the two main blocks to previous peace talks in Chad, Nigeria, Libya and Doha.

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

A counter-insurgency campaign against non-Arab rebels demanding more autonomy in Darfur in 2003 sparked a humanitarian crisis in the western Sudan region in which more than two million people have fled, according to the United Nations.

Violence peaked in 2003-2004 but analysts say there is still no end in sight to the conflict.

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