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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 18:42 GMT
Aid charity 'committed' to Sudan
Children at a Save the Children camp in Darfur
Some 1.5m people need help in Darfur
The head of a charity whose workers were flown to safety in Sudan on Monday has spoken of its commitment to staying in the war-torn country.

At least 30 Save the Children staff were rescued from the Darfur region.

The charity's Sudan director, Kate Halff, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We definitely intend to continue working in the area."

But she added she was concerned about security as both sides in the crisis were ignoring a ceasefire.

Ms Halff, who was speaking on Tuesday, said: "There are 30,000 displaced people in the area in need of our assistance.

"We are committed to continuing to assist them but we are concerned about the security environment at the moment."

The Save the Children workers were rescued by African Union helicopter, the organisation said.

The UN said 45 people in all were flown out of Tawilla, a town on a key supply route in northern Darfur, and taken to al-Fashir, the capital of the region.

Fighting had broken on Sunday in Tawilla, where at least 30,000 refugees had fled to avoid attacks by government-backed Arab militias.

During the rainy season aid agencies observed some let up in the fighting, BBC correspondent in Geneva Imogen Foulkes said.

But now the rainy season is just about over, it all seems to be starting up again, she adds.

Major concern

The fighting came despite a recent African Union-backed agreement with the rebels to end the conflict.

African Union monitors in the area said six civilians had died in the fighting.

Ms Halff added that it was a "major concern" that both sides had ignored the ceasefire.

There is a whiff of Munich about this
Lord Alton, founder of Jubilee

Lord Alton, the founder of the human rights campaign Jubilee, told Today he believed the international community had been "duped".

He explained that the Sudanese government had been required by a United Nations mandatory resolution to disarm militia, and this had not been done.

"There is a whiff of Munich about this," said Lord Alton, who last visited Sudan in September.

He said he backed a letter to a national newspaper from shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram, Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock, and Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell.

The trio is calling for better resources to provide for those affected by the war, a no-fly zone to be imposed over west Darfur, and targeted sanctions, including oil sanctions.


SEE ALSO:
Darfur misery has complex roots
26 Sep 04 |  Africa
Q&A: Sudan's Darfur conflict
11 Nov 04 |  Africa


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