After repelling an attack by Darfur rebels on Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, the Sudanese government has broken off diplomatic ties with Chad whom it accuses of supporting the revolt. The two sides fought a pitched battle in a suburb of the city yesterday. It was the first time fighting had reached the capital in decades of conflict between the Arab-dominated government and rebels from peripheral regions.
The authorities have extended a curfew indefinitely, saying some of the attackers are still on the loose. The government claims the rebels could only have mounted that attack across 600 km of dessert with the help of Chadian forces. The country denies any involvement.
But the rebel leadership says the fighting is not yet over and that they intend to push on into the capital. Analysts believe some 200,000 people have died in Darfur since the mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms. The government denies western accusations of genocide in the region.