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Sudan makes case abroad while still bombing Darfur

President Omar al-Bashir says international interference will hamper peace. Darfuris ask: 'What peace?'

Forced to flee: Recently displaced women at a camp in Darfur.

Heba Aly

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During the US vice presidential debate last week, Sen. Joe Biden (D) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R) found common ground on at least one topic: Both support imposing a no-fly zone in Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

Some 6,000 miles away, Darfuris fleeing their homes welcome such talk, especially after a recent spate of indiscriminate government bombings.

"The government said it was only looking for rebels. It said it didn't want to harm the people," says villager Abdullah Isshac, who spent one week hiding in the countryside after a government attack on the village of Khazan Tungur. "But the rebels are out in the mountains, not in the village."

To the outside world, Sudan's government sings a different tune, claiming since July – when the International Criminal Court (ICC) sought an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide for his role in the Darfur conflict – that the prosecution of its leader would jeopardize the peace process. But as the situation on the ground here grows worse, Darfuris are asking: "What peace process are you talking about?"

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