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Last Updated: Monday, 5 September 2005, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
SLA rebels 'destabilising' Darfur
By Jonah Fisher
BBC News, Khartoum

Displaced Sudanese woman prepares mud bricks
Many have fled terror and remain in refugee camps
African Union peacekeepers in Sudan have condemned Darfur's largest rebel movement for banditry and abductions.

The AU mission said the Sudan Liberation Army were destabilising the region and jeopardising peace talks with the Khartoum government.

More than two million people in Darfur are homeless, driven from their homes by two and a half years of clashes.

But after eight months of relative calm and improving security, the situation in Darfur is deteriorating once again.

Banditry and attacks on aid convoys are increasing and the finger of blame is being firmly pointed at the SLA, Darfur's main rebel movement.

In one incident, in the village of Malam, the rebels attacked a group of Arab nomads.

According to the African Union, an unknown number of people were killed, seven abducted and more than 3,000 camels stolen.

The rebels are rejecting any attempts by the AU to resolve the situation and defuse rising tensions in the area.

In a statement, the African Union said the rebels provocative banditry and lack of cooperation was casting doubt over their commitment to negotiations.

The sixth round of talks between the Sudanese government and the rebels are due to start in Nigeria on 15 September.

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