Fighting restricts humanitarian access in Sudan’s North Darfur
19 September 2008 – Fresh fighting between Government and rebel forces in the north of Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region has severely restricted the delivery of critical aid amid unconfirmed reports that thousands more people have been driven from their homes, the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan said today
“The United Nations urges both parties to immediately cease hostilities and requests humanitarian access to the affected areas in North Darfur,” Coordinator Ameerah Haq said in a statement.
Coordinator Haq yesterday visited El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, and called on all parties to comply with their responsibilities to protect civilians and allow humanitarian access.
“In this context, reports of incursions into Zam Zam IDP [internally displaced persons] camp earlier this week by Government of Sudan police are of concern and the Humanitarian Coordinator urges restraint by all parties,” the statement said.
About 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed, either through direct combat or as a result of disease, malnutrition or reduced life expectancy, and more than 2.7 million others have been uprooted from their homes in the five-year conflict.
UNAMID, which has so far reached less than half its mandated deployment of 26,000 troops and police officers, has not yet established a presence in the area of the latest clashes because of security reasons.
(UN News Service)