UN chief expresses concern over clashes in Dafur

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday voiced concern over clashes between Sudan’s government troops and forces of one of the armed groups in the troubled western region of Darfur.

He noted that that fighting has resulted in attacks on hundreds of civilians.

“Ban urged the Sudanese Government and the Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi (SLA/MM) to desist from renewed conflict, the excessive use of force, including the offensive use of aircraft and to allow access by the humanitarian community and the UN-AU peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) to areas where civilians are in need of help,'' a UN statement said in New York.

“These clashes included attacks on civilians and destruction of property, and have resulted in renewed displacement, and the withdrawal of humanitarian agencies from some areas,” it added.

The statement said the secretary-general was particularly disturbed about reports of violence at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Shaeria, 45 kilometres southeast of the village of Khor Abeche in South Darfur.

Ban expressed his support for the work of UNAMID, UN agencies and NGOs in areas of South Darfur and North Darfur affected by the latest violence, noting that they are working tirelessly to protect civilians under difficult conditions.

He further appealed to the SLA/MM to rejoin the peace process aimed at ending the conflict in Darfur and urged the government to exercise restraint and to ensure the protection of civilians.

Meanwhile, UNAMID reported on Tuesday that an unknown group of armed men attacked the camp overnight, burning down part of the settlement.

It said several of the camp’s residents fled to a UNAMID team site located nearby, joining over 300 IDPs who gathered there after clashes last week between Government forces and SLA/MM in Khor Abeche.

The mission also said that it was continuing to seek clearance for humanitarian teams to Khor Abeche and reported a steady increase in the number of IDPs around the UNAMID site there.
-0- PANA AA/MA 21Dec2010

21 december 2010 20:22:37

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