Panafrican News Agency

UN: 'Inter-communal tensions in Darfur threaten IDPs' return'

New York, US (PANA) - UN Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous on Thursday said armed fighting over land, water and other natural resources in Sudan's Darfur region have continue to put civilians at risk.

Addressing the UN Security Council meeting on Sudan's Darfur region, Mr. Ladsous called for long-term solutions that would allow 2.6 million displaced people in the region to return or resettle.

"Civilians remain exposed to significant sources of insecurity such as inter-communal conflict and criminality, including the activities of armed militias," the UN peacekeeping chief said while presenting the latest report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation in Darfur.

He said that despite a significant decrease in overall armed conflict, particularly as a result of the government's military successes against armed movements, the situation in the region is further exacerbated by a "widespread proliferation of weapons and the inadequacy of rule of law and justice institutions".

"Tensions between the various communities recur due to long-standing disputes over access to land and the control of water and other resources," according to information cited from the report.

"For example, at least 70 people were killed in the past few months in clashes between farmers and herders in seasonal migration underway in the southern part of Darfur.

"Such violence is raising concerns for the millions of displaced people living in bases and camps under the protection of the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)," Ladsous stated.

He said: "Long-term comprehensive solutions remain to create the necessary conditions for the return or resettlement of the 2.6 million people who remain in displacement in the region."

He also added that the resolution of the underlying causes of inter-communal conflict related to access to land, water and other natural resources need to be fully addressed.

Among other points raised in his briefing, Mr. Ladsous noted that despite efforts by UNAMID and the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and international initiatives, “little tangible progress” has been made in the peace efforts in Darfur.

Other issues included delays over agreement on the cessation of hostilities and access for humanitarian assistance.
-0- PANA AA/MA 12Jan2017