UN calls for 'hitch-free' humanitarian delivery in Darfur

New York- US (PANA) -- Ms.
Valerie Amos, the UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, has called on the local administration in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region to show "stronger commitment" to facilitate the delivery of aid to those in need without political or ethnic considerations.
The Pan African News Agency (PANA) reported that Amos had recently expressed concern over access restrictions to areas affected by ongoing fighting in Eastern Jebel Marra.
PANA also learnt that insecurity in Darfur had limited the capacity of humanitarian agencies to provide assistance to those affected by the conflict, especially in remote areas.
A UN statement said the official, who is on an on-going mission to Sudan, also voiced concern over increasing incidents of kidnapping of aid workers.
The statement, which was issued Monday at the UN headquarters in New York, said about 30 foreign humanitarian workers had been abducted since March 2009.
Four of them remain in captivity.
"I welcome the government's efforts to resolve kidnapping cases and call for perpetrators to be apprehended and brought to justice.
Stopping impunity is the only way to address this worrying trend," she was quoted as saying.
The statement disclosed that Amos also visited a primary health care centre servicing internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in Al-Salaam camp, on the outskirts of El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, where she heard accounts of life as IDPs from women who fled their homes seven years ago.
"They expressed their desire to return to their villages but explained that they were not planning to do so soon, due to fear of violence,'' it stated.
The UN humanitarian coordinator also said that, "all people have the right to return home or settle in an alternative location of their choosing but the conditions need to be appropriate and their safety and security must be guaranteed.
"In Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, Amos discussed the issue of IDP's return with representatives of the humanitarian community,'' it added.
"Ensuring that returns take place in an environment free from intimidation is the responsibility of the government," the statement also quoted Amos as saying.

08 november 2010 18:50:00

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