The Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, briefed the Security Council this morning on the situation in Darfur.
He called on the members of the Council to impress on all parties to the conflict that a political solution remains the only viable option.
Mr. Ladsous also reiterated the Secretary-General’s call to the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid to immediately cease hostilities in Jebel Marra, and commit to peaceful negotiations, without preconditions.
He said that the escalation of fighting in Jebel Marra has led to large-scale displacement, especially from mid-January to late March – with humanitarian organizations estimating that at least 138,000 people from Jebel Marra had been newly displaced by 31 March.
He added that due to the Government's access restrictions, the exact number of civilian casualties from the recent wave of fighting could not yet be ascertained, and that these had prevented the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and humanitarian actors from responding to the protection and humanitarian needs of the displaced.
Mr. Ladsous said that with the new outbreak of fighting in Jebel Marra, the Mission focused its efforts on ensuring the protection of the civilian and displaced populations. He noted that UNAMID had established protective areas near displacement sites, reinforced its military and police presence, and intensified day-and-night patrols in order to maintain security and law and order near these areas.
His remarks are available in our office.