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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 December 2005, 15:53 GMT
More Darfur clashes involve army
By Jonah Fisher
BBC, Khartoum

SLA troops
Seven rounds of talks have failed to end the rebellion
The vicious cycle of violence in Darfur has resumed, says the United Nations, with Sudan army involvement increasing.

A UN spokesperson said that last week had seen both government and rebel forces launch attacks, displacing 7,000 people and killing an unknown number.

More than 2m people still live in camps in Darfur, driven from their homes by two and a half years of fighting.

UN spokesperson Radia Achouri said it appeared a joint militia and government offensive took place on three villages.

The following day Darfur's rebels retaliated in another village, which was then followed by pro-government militia destroying all the wells in a town.

The overall level of violence in Darfur continues to fluctuate, with both local and external factors triggering new waves of attacks.

For most of this year clashes have largely been between rebel factions and Arab militia.

Now direct confrontations with government forces are on the rise.

As the soldiers fight, the seventh round of discussions aimed at solving Darfur's problems are continuing in Nigeria, but so far little has been achieved. Six thousand African Union peacekeepers are charged with stabilising Darfur's vast area, but with the violence unabated their task continues to look like mission impossible.

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