|Minni Minnawi (AFP)|
The rebel Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi today warned the hybrid peacekeeping operation UNAMID and other international organizations to evacuate the airports in Darfur.
Minnawi troops are designed as military target by the Sudanese government since last year and they clash regularly with the Sudanese army which accuses Juba of supporting him.
In a statement released on Sunday, Minni Miinawi who denounced officially earlier this month a peace agreement he signed with the Sudanese government in May 2006, said these airports are now "strategic military targets" for his forces.
"The SLM warns the UNAMID forces and other international organizations deployed in Darfur and other parts of Sudan to evacuate the airports in Darfur or elsewhere immediately because these sites are strategic military target for the forces of the SLM/A," said a statement signed the rebel leader.
Minnawi said Sudanese warplanes use these airports to commit atrocities against innocent civilians and to transport ammunition and weapons to Darfur.
"The Air force forms 60% of the government war effort in Darfur, while the role of the government army and militia on the ground is limited to 40% of crimes of ethnic cleansing and genocide committed in Darfur," he stressed.
The head of the joint peacekeeping mission Ibrahim Gambari said alarmed by the recent increase of fighting in the restive North Darfur between the government army and the rebels groups.
Gambari "is particularly disturbed about reports of the most recent recrudescence of violence between Government of the Sudan soldiers and a combined group of elements from several rebel movements, in the region of Shangil Tobaya, 66 kilometers south west of El Fasher" said a statement released by the UNAMID.
An official from the hybrid operation told the AFP on condition of anonymity that low-flying Antonov aircraft and helicopters were seen in the area, with loud explosions heard throughout the day, and gun battles between government soldiers and different rebel groups, thought to include the Sudan Liberation Army factions of Abdelwahid Nur and Minni Minnawi,.
The chief of the peacekeeping mission urged all belligerents to stop hostilities and refrain from further armed confrontation, and allow unfettered access by the humanitarian community and UNAMID to areas and population in need.