-- The African Union accused the Sudanese government of coordinating with Arab militias in attacks on civilians in the country's western region of Darfur and said Saturday that all parties involved in the conflict were violating cease-fire agreements.
Despite negotiations and the truce agreement, violence has flared in the past two weeks. Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, rampaged through a refugee camp, killing at least 32 people, and rebel forces have attacked a government garrison, the African Union said.
"We must conclude that there is neither good faith nor commitment on the part of any of the parties," Baba Gana Kingibe, head of the union's mission in Sudan, told reporters in Khartoum.
Kingibe said government helicopters had been seen flying in the area at the time of at least one of the recent Janjaweed attacks on villages and refugee camps in Darfur.
"This apparent land and air assault gives credence to the repeated claim by the rebel movements of collusion between the government of Sudan forces and the Janjaweed," he said.
Mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government in early 2003, accusing it of neglect and of monopolizing power and wealth. The United Nations says the government responded by arming the Janjaweed militiamen, whom human rights groups have accused of conducting a widespread campaign of rape, killing and burning non-Arab villages.
The violence, described as genocide by the United States, has killed tens of thousands and forced more than 2 million from their homes to camps in the region, which is the size of France.
The Sudanese government has admitted arming and absorbing some tribes into regular armed forces, but denies any links to the Janjaweed, calling the militiamen criminals.
Kingibe said government forces had "considerable and known" influence over the Arab militias and had ceased to restrain them in recent days as they had in the past. He also said that humanitarian workers had been forced to take shelter near African Union camps during government attacks and that the upsurge in violence had hindered the humanitarian operations in the region.