|photo credit: blackagendareport.com|
UNITED NATIONS — Violence in the turbulent Darfur region of Sudan has spiked over the past several months, Alain Le Roy, the head of United Nations peacekeeping operations, said Wednesday. He attributed the increase to a combination of factors, including fitful peace talks, renewed tribal rivalries and overall tension in Africa’s largest nation as its south prepares for an independence referendum.
Calling the situation a “bleak picture,” Mr. Le Roy told a news conference that security had deteriorated significantly as optimism for a cease-fire in 2009 faded.
Recent United Nations statistics indicated that killings this year already rivaled the 832 violent deaths recorded for all of 2009. May alone, with 400 deaths, was the bloodiest month since peacekeeping forces were deployed in December 2007.
It is difficult to boil down the complicated tapestry of actors in the region, especially as rebel movements have splintered and increasingly well-armed criminals have flourished in the seven years the war has dragged on. Some recent bloodshed was even pegged to a Ponzi scheme that bilked thousands of their savings.
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