Darfur rebels accused Sudan’s government of launching two attacks on their position on Wednesday, a day after the sides signed a goodwill agreement paving the way to peace talks. The insurgent Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said government aircraft bombed their fighters in the mountain east Jabel Marra area ,at the same time as ground forces and militias clashed about 70km (45 miles) further northeast.

No one was immediately available from Sudan’s armed forces to comment on the reports. The prominent leader of a separate rebel force confirmed the air attack, saying it killed four civilians, while peacekeepers said they were looking into the report of both incidents.

The report will dismay observers and foreign governments who on Tuesday gave a cautious welcome to the deal between JEM and the government. Many said it could be a first step to peace after almost six years of fighting.

The warring sides met in Qatar and agreed to make peace talks a priority, swap prisoners and allow the free flow of aid—stop short of agreeing to a ceasefire. The sides said they planned to reach a separate “framework agreement” that would eventually, set the scene for an end to hostilities and full talks.



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