UN rights official condemns 'disproportionate' Darfur camp raid

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GENEVA: The office of the top UN human rights official Friday condemned Sudan s disproportionate and excessive attack on a displaced persons camp in Darfur that killed more than 30 people, including seven children.

Thirty-one people were killed in Monday s attack, all but one by gunshot wounds, in the Kalma camp near Nyala in southern Darfur, said Yvon Edoumou, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

One woman died after falling into a ditch whilst trying to flee the shooting, he said.

In total seven children, 11 women and 13 men were killed in the attack which also left 54 people wounded, he added.

The matter is still under investigation, Edoumou said.

Sudanese authorities describe the Kalma camp, home to around 80,000 people including representatives of some rebel groups, as a den of outlaws and armed robbers hoarding weapons, ammunition, explosives, narcotics and stolen goods.

Tensions in Darfur have heightened since the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court last month formally asked judges to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar Al-Beshir on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The United Nations says that up to 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million fled their homes since the conflict erupted in February 2003. Sudan says 10,000 have been killed.

The war began when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime and state-backed Arab militias, fighting for resources and power in Africa s biggest country. -AFP

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