UN chief tasks warring parties on Darfur conflict

New York- US (PANA) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has again urged all parti es to the conflict in Darfur to ''seriously'' pursue peace, citing ongoing violence, displacement and human r ights violations in the region despite several years of UN-backed attempts to end the hostilities.
In his latest report to the UN Security Council on the UN/AU mission in Darfur ( UNAMID), Ban noted that 2010 had seen some indications of progress including a protocol on border security signed by S udan and Chad, and the holding of a peaceful elections in Darfur.
He, however, said: ''Efforts toward peace have remained frustrated by the fragme ntation of Darfur's armed groups and by ongoing military operations, which have uprooted more civilians and caused further suffe ring to the people of the region.
"Violence flared between Sudanese government forces and those of the rebel Justi ce and Equality Movement (JEM) in May, in breach of a cessation of hostilities agreement signed earlier this year, making May the de adliest month since the establishment of UNAMID in 2007.
"In addition, tribal conflict, displacements, criminality and violations of huma n rights continued throughout the first half of this year in Darfur.
Violent attacks have also continued against UNAMID personnel, five of whom were killed in recent months.
''These are not signs that peace in Darfur is being pursued with seriousness and in good faith.
'' Saying JEMâ?s withdrawal from the peace talks held in Doha, Qatar, has undermin ed the goal of a rapid resolution of the Darfur conflict, Ban urged the rebel group and the government to immediately cease their ongoing military confrontations and commit to the peace process under the Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Djibril Bassole.
''Without an inclusive and comprehensive peace agreement in Darfur, as southern Sudan heads towards a referendum on its future status, there is a risk of increased instability in the Sudan,â? he warned.
Meanwhile, Ban has said that UNAMID now has more than 17,000 troops and over 4,0 00 police personnel on the ground.
He said the mission had continued with vital tasks such as providing escorts to the people of Darfur and support to the humanitarian community in aid delivery.
"It is also carrying out regular patrols of thousands of kilometres of road, pro viding an active deterrent to opportunistic violence and crime,â? the Secretary-General reported.
In a related development, the Sudan Consultative Forum held its first meeting in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on 17 July.
The Forum aims to provide international support to the search for peace in Darfu r as well as the implementation of the remaining provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended decades of civil war i n the country.
Participants in a communique called on all stakeholders in Sudan to continue to work for the democratic transition of the country and undertake efforts towards the realisation of the remaining provisions of the CPA .
They also stressed the need to conclude as soon as possible the peace talks aime d at resolving the Darfur conflict.
The meeting was co-chaired by UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy and the AU Comm issioner for Peace and Security, Ramtane Lamamra.

20 july 2010 08:56:00

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