UN warns of proxy war between Sudan and Chad
The UN Security Council was warned
Wednesday of a possible proxy war between Sudan and Chad following an alleged
Chadian-backed rebel attack on Khartoum last week, with the attackers eluding
detection by the Sudanese government and UN peacekeepers.
Khartoum severed diplomatic relations with Ndjamena after rebel troops from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) attacked Omdurman in Khartoum, arriving from North Darfur in a convoy of up to 300 vehicles.
Khartoum, which repelled the attackers, accused Chad of supporting and arming JEM, a major African warring faction fighting the Arab-led Sudanese government. Chad has denied the charge.
UN Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guehenno told the 15-nation council that the attack took Khartoum and the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur by surprise. But he said also that the UN mission lacked aircraft to monitor the vast Sudanese territory.
He said other alarming developments showed that the Sudan Liberation Army (known as SLA-Unity), another rebel group in Darfur, was preparing to attack El Fasher, where the UN-AU mission is headquartered. JEM and Chadian armed troops have crossed the Sudanese border and have assembled in West Darfur.
Guehenno said a proxy war between the two neighbours would jeopardize the peace process in Sudan.
"The situation in Darfur's conflict-affected population is growing more precarious by the day as a result of the security situation," he said.
Rations have been reduced by half for the Darfur displaced people, Guehenno said, urging the warring parties to respect humanitarian law and allow relief workers full access to those in need, dpa reported.