| Wed Aug. 9, 2006 6:42 PM EDT
A peace deal that was supposed to end the conflict in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region has brought anything but peace, with fresh fighting displacing 50,000 more people and July marking the deadliest month for aid workers since the conflict began. Four aid groups warned Tuesday that conditions for millions of civilians suffering in the area could get much worse quickly if security does not improve. Spiraling violence is already causing a rise in malnutrition and the spread of disease in some displaced persons camps, the groups said.
Eight Sudanese humanitarian workers were killed last month along with countless civilians, part of increasing violence since a May 5 peace deal was signed in Nigeria between the government and the main rebel group. The deal was supposed to help end the conflict but has instead sparked months of fighting between rival rebel factions. Aid groups, the United Nations and beleaguered African Union peacekeepers say rebel factions are seeking to gain advantage before peace upsets a status quo in a region where more than 200,000 people have been killed since 2003 when ethnic African tribes revolted against the Arab-led Khartoum government. Fresh clashes have left countless dead in the last two months and displaced nearly 50,000 more people in addition to the more than 2 million who had already fled their homes. One million people also rely on food aid because their fields have been razed or they're too afraid to go out to farm.
Activists are pushing the Bush administration to do more (Reuters).