Eritrea 'arming Darfur rebels'

Khartoum - Three plane-loads of weapons and ammunition have been delivered to rebels in the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur using relief planes from Eritrea, the semi-governmental Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) reported on Sunday.

The SMC quoted "informed sources" as saying the shipments were flown on planes belonging to unidentified organisations operating in the humanitarian field in Darfur.

It said the flights originated from an airbase in neighbouring Eritrea under the supervision of the army and intelligence commanders with government approval.

Sudan and Eritrea have for years traded accusations of supporting one another's rebel groups.

Relations reached a new low in October after Eritrea claimed to have uncovered a Sudanese-backed plot to assassinate President Issaiais Afeworki.

Hostilities have flared up again in Darfur in recent weeks, with the government and rebels both refusing to take responsibility for violations of a ceasefire that was signed in April 2004.

The Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003, when rebels rose up to demand an end to the marginalisation of their region by the Arab government in Khartoum as well as a bigger share of Sudan's riches.

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