02 March 2010 - UNAMID verifying reports of clashes in West Darfur
UNAMID PR / 011-2010
El Fasher, 02 March 2010 – The African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) takes very seriously the recent but as yet unconfirmed reports of fighting in the Jebel Marra area of West Darfur. The Mission is therefore taking additional measures to ascertain the veracity of these reports. Since the protection of the civilian population is at the core of its mandate, UNAMID strongly calls for the cessation of any and all acts of hostilities and, once again, remind belligerents of their obligations under international humanitarian law.
UNAMID is particularly concerned that, if confirmed, the reported acts of violence would be coming at a time that good progress is being made in the quest for peace and stability in the region.
The AU-UN Joint Special Representative (JSR) and Head of UNAMID, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, reiterates his appeal to all parties to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from any action that could further add to the suffering of the population and negatively affect on-going initiatives for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Darfur.
Speaking this morning, Mr. Gambari drew attention to the outcome of the Kigali meeting of 27 February 2010 where the Special Envoys for Darfur acknowledged, as peace contributing factors, the improvements in Chad-Sudan relations, as well as recent developments in N’Djamena and Doha, all of which culminated in the signing of a framework agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement. The JSR stated that he was looking forward to an all-inclusive arrangement that would emphasize and promote dialogue over armed confrontation.
“All parties should therefore remember that any armed confrontation invariably leads to casualties among combatants and dire consequences for civilians, with loss of life, destruction of property and massive displacements of the population, thus likely to negate the gains made so far through the patient and strenuous efforts exerted to restore peace in Darfur. ” JSR Gambari said.
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