UN: Inter-communal violence, banditry threaten civilians in Darfur

New York, US (PANA) - African Union-UN Special Representative for Darfur (UNAMID), Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, says although fighting between Sudanese government forces and armed movements ebbed considerably during the past months, inter-communal violence and acts of banditry continue to be a challenge for the people of Darfur.

A UN statement, issued in New York, stated that Mr. Chambas made this known, while addressing reporters in Khartoum, Sudan, on Monday.

It quoted the envoy as saying that violence and acts of criminality have also made it difficult for peacekeepers to carry out their mission and posed a threat to the safety and security of humanitarian personnel.

He noted that some 385,000 people have been displaced by the conflict since the beginning of
2014, according to UN Country Team and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

He stated: "The plight of these internally-displaced persons (IDPs) is compounded by the reduced presence of humanitarian actors and the reduction of humanitarian assistance on the ground as a result of capacity gaps, funding shortfalls and the fragile security environment."

Mr. Chambas, however, said that despite these challenges, humanitarian access has improved, saying: "According to OCHA, there were 51 attempts in July to reach various affected areas in Darfur. Of these, the authorities declined only two humanitarian access requests to reach Adila and Abu Karinka in East Darfur State."

"Similarly for the reporting period, there were 21 access denials for UNAMID compared to 72 in
the previous quarter," he said.

He also said: "UNAMID continues to extend technical, logistic and programmatic support to
the local government and traditional institutions to raise awareness and improve the protective environment for vulnerable populations in Darfur."

Recalling his trip to New York last week to brief the UN Security Council on the latest
developments in Darfur, the envoy said that the Council also noted with concern the upsurge
in inter-communal conflict and urged UNAMID, which he heads, to continue with its increasing
robust protection of civilian strategy.

Mr. Chambas said that the Council expressed support to the Doha Document for Peace in
Darfur, which includes launching of the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation and the
formation of a 17-member Implementation Committee to lead the process and ensure local
ownership.

On his part, he said he intensified coordination with the African Union High-level
Implementation Panel and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General to Sudan and South Sudan, President Thabo Mbeki and Haile Menkerios respectively, as called for by both the African Union Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council.

He also disclosed that a proposed meeting would involve the representatives of the armed groups and the Government of the Sudan.

"This meeting is expected to explore ways of addressing the humanitarian and security
situation in Darfur, deliberate on how the parties can bridge their differences and make
progress towards a comprehensive settlement of the Darfur conflict," the envoy told
reporters.

He further said that UNAMID has embarked on a comprehensive set of reforms set out in Security Council resolution 2148 (2014), which serves as an opportunity to re-evaluate the structure of the mission through a review of civilian, military and police components.

"We are looking forward to the renewal of the mission’s mandate, so that a more efficient and agile UNAMID is able to better serve and support the people of Darfur in their pursuit of peace, stability and prosperity,” Mr. Chambas added.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 12Aug2014

12 august 2014 09:27:13




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