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Refugees in Darfur Beat Aid Worker

September 18, 2004|From Times Wire Services

MORNIE, Sudan — Residents of a refugee camp here in the troubled Darfur region beat a government aid worker with sticks Friday when he tried to stop them from complaining to a visiting U.S. official.

The assailants inflicted gashes across the front and back of the Sudanese worker's head before being shoved away by other aid workers and African Union monitors.

Andrew S. Natsios, U.S. Agency for International Development administrator, has been touring Darfur this week to press the Sudanese government to do more to restore calm in the region.

"Now it's confirmed in a terrible way that you are clearly dealing with an explosive situation. We were getting reports that there is absolute rage in the camps," Natsios told reporters.

In Abuja, Nigeria, meanwhile, Sudan on Friday blamed the United States for the failure of three weeks of peace talks between Khartoum and Darfur rebels.

African Union mediators said negotiations would resume in October.

The United States, which has called the violence in Darfur genocide, rejected the charge. Washington has accused Khartoum of backing Arab militias blamed for atrocities against black villagers.

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