Monday, January 19, 2009

Darfur: 30,000 exposed to previously unseen levels of violence

The senior United Nations humanitarian official in Sudan has called for an end to the renewed fighting in southern Darfur's Muhajeria area, which has exposed about 30,000 people to previously unseen levels of violence, destroyed an aid agency's office and forced the world body to relocate its staff.

Acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan Kenro Oshidari deplored the loss of life and injury to civilians in the area, where the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Army/ Minni Minawi (SLA/MM) have clashed in recent days.

The fighting resulted in an aid agency's office being burnt to the ground and reached the point where the UN has relocated aid staff from Muhajeria.

“The hostilities must stop so that aid agencies can get back to the town to continue their life-saving work,” Mr. Oshidari said in a statement.

Peacekeepers serving with the hybrid UN-African Union force in Darfur, known as (UNAMID) are still in the town and are protecting members of the local population. The UN evacuated six injured people to the South Darfur capital of Nyala on Friday and continues to provide very basic medical services in the area.

In addition to the clashes between JEM and SLA/MM, the Government of Sudan confirmed last week that Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) aircraft bombed rebel JEM positions in Muhajeria.

Condemning all of the renewed attacks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had called on all parties in Darfur to commit to an immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities and to intensify efforts to come to a comprehensive political agreement with the assistance of the African Union-UN Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Djibril Bassolé.

Source: UN News Centre
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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