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Sudan compensates Darfur conflict victims

5/17/2005 10:41pm

KHARTOUM, May 17 (AFP) -- Sudan on Tuesday started the long task of handing compensation to people affected by the conflict in Darfur, insisting that it would pay out to all those hit by strife in the war-torn province.
The process began with Sania, a village in South Darfur State whose inhabitants who have recently returned to their homes, the SUNA news agency reported.

The state-run news agency said payments ranging from 20,000 to 700,000 Sudanese dinars (80-2,800 dollars) per person were made on Tuesday in a ceremony held in the village.

It said the ceremony was attended by State Governor Al-Hajj Atta al-Mannan Idriss, who affirmed his government's commitment to paying full compensation to all persons affected by the conflict.

"This is a national, religious and ethical duty upon the government," Idriss was quoted by SUNA as saying.

He congratulated the villagers on their return and pledged to provide them with their needs "so as to enable them to carry on with their normal living."

The villagers expressed satisfaction with the compensation, affirming readiness to rebuild their village and demanding seeds so as to catch up with the farming season, SUNA said.

It added that a member of the compensations and damages committee, Ali al-Disouqy, said his committee would carry on with its task of considering individual cases and paying compensation in all parts of Darfur.

Marked by mass killings, torture, rape and pillage, the conflict has left more than 300,000 dead and 2.4 million people displaced, according to a British parliament report.

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