UN: Darfur offers Islamists "fertile ground" as violence persists

January 24, 2015 02:03

UNITED NATIONS - United Nations experts warned that Sudan's remote western territories could become a breeding ground for radical Islamists as violence in the country's conflict-torn Darfur region rages at an alarming level.

Darfur has been embroiled in conflict since mainly non-Arab tribes took up arms in 2003 against the Arab-led government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination. The United Nations says as many as 300,000 have died and millions more displaced by the conflict.

The latest annual report by the UN Panel of Experts on Sudan, distributed on Friday, said the overall number of aerial bombardments by Sudanese government forces had declined.

But it described a "pattern of deliberate targeting of and/or indiscriminate attacks on civilians with actual or perceived allegiance to the armed opposition groups" - as well as sporadic attacks by rebel forces on those believed to support the government.

"The effects of this have resulted in 3,324 villages being destroyed in Darfur over the five-month period surveyed by the Darfur Regional Authority, from December 2013 to April 2014," the report said.

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