Top of the Morning: Darfur Rebels Enter Sudan Fight; Big Refugee Flow in Sahel; New HIV Drug Guidelines from WHO

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Darfur Rebels Join in Sudan, South Sudan Fight

Another day, another few steps closer to all out war. This time, Darfur Rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement have apparently joined some sort of tactical alliance with the South. The Darfur rebels sacked Sudanese army outposts near the disputed Heglig oil field, which was captured last week by the South.  “Rebels from Sudan’s Darfur region on Thursday said they seized two Sudanese military positions north of the Heglig oil field occupied by South Sudanese forces. In fighting on Wednesday night, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) took control of the outposts 40km north of Heglig, said the group’s spokesperson Gibril Adam Bilal…Bilal denied that JEM forces were fighting alongside the South Sudanese, who occupied Heglig on April 10 and allege it was used to attack the South. Khartoum’s foreign ministry claims that international press photos show the Darfur rebel movement has been fighting with Southern troops.” (News24

Dramatic Increase in Refugees Fleeing Mali to Mauritania

A warning from MSF:  “At least 57,000 people from Mali have entered the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania since late January. Roughly 1,500 people are arriving in the camp per day, up from 200 per day on April 5. Thousands more people are expected to arrive. In response to the massive influx, MSF is bolstering its activities and emergency medical aid in the desert area, where access to medical care is extremely limited. Fighting between the Malian army, the Tuareg movement, and other armed groups is forcing thousands of people to flee to Fassala, Mauritania, located three kilometers from the border with Mali. “The presence of armed groups and political uncertainty in Mali is generating fear and panic among the people,” said Elisabetta Maria Faga, MSF field coordinator. “Refugees are primarily Tuareg families from the Timbuktu region. They arrive here exhausted after a two-day journey by truck.” (MSF

WHO issues new HIV Drugs Guidelines

Several studies published last year indicated the value of the early adoption of ARV treatments for preventing the spread of HIV. These were big breakthroughs, and now it seems the WHO is officially adopting the early use of ARVs in certain circumstances. “New guidance from the World Health Organisation today marks a new and important step forward in the battle for “an Aids-free generation”, as Hillary Clinton and others defined the goal last year. Antiretroviral drugs have been shown not only to keep people with HIV alive and well, but also in groundbreaking trials published last year, to reduce the chances by 96% that they will transmit the virus to anyone else. So now the WHO is recommending that anybody with HIV who has an uninfected partner should be started on treatment straight away – and not have to wait until tests show their immune system has been depleted. The move could have a real impact on the course of the epidemic by reducing the transmission rate of the disease. WHO also calls for greater efforts to encourage people to come to be tested with their partner – in the knowledge that it is good for both. Only 40% of people with HIV know it. They risk their own health and will spread the virus.” (The Guardian