Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - At least six persons were killed in various clashes and attacks in north Darfur region of western Sudan, indicating the renewed spread of violence in a region that has otherwise witness a lull in clashes recently.
"The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) leadership has expresses deep concern over the spread of violence and attacks against civilian population in Kutum, North Darfur," UNAMID said in a press release issued here Monday.
The statement, obtained by PANA, said the series of incidents began on 1 August when the Commissioner of the district of Alwaha, in Kutum town, and his driver were shot dead and his vehicle carjacked by three unknown armed men.
Later in the day, the official’s vehicle was recovered by Government of Sudan security agents some two kilometres from the Kassab internally-displaced persons (IDPs) camp.
The same day, armed men surrounded Kassab, looted the market, burnt down the Sudanese Police post in the camp and reportedly killed four persons (three civilians and one police officer), injuring six others.
It said similar events leading to the deterioration in the security and humanitarian situation occurred the following days in and around Kutum town, Kassab and Fataborno IDP camps, including fighting between the armed elements and Government Forces, as well as looting and displacement of civilians.
The statement explained that UNAMID had taken measures, including a 24-hour, one-week (24/7) protection force present in affected IDP camps, to protect civilians and reinforc the strength of its forces.
An assessment team from the Mission visited Kutum and Kassab camps Monday to meet with local authorities and community representatives, and to evaluate the conditions on the ground and needs of the population.
Furthermore, Mission leadership has directly engaged Government officials on their responsibility to provide protection and defuse tension.
In his capacity as Joint Chief Mediator, UNAMID Joint Special Representative (JSR), Ibrahim Gambari, is initiating a mediation track between the feuding parties as provided for in the UN Security Council Resolution 2063 (2012).
“I call upon all parties involved to put down their arms, to seek a peaceful resolution and a common dialogue. Killing and destruction are not the answer,” the release quoted Gambari as saying.
According to Gambari: “It is my hope that the Government will promptly restore law and order in the area, fulfilling its responsibility to protect civilians and to allow those recently displaced to return to their homes.”
Gambari requested the Government to investigate the reported attacks and abuses on the civilians and the destruction and looting of equipment belonging to humanitarian agencies.
He added that all the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
The Sudanese army had earlier in the day said it deployed forces to the region and that the situation was now fully under control.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 6Aug2012