Darfur: recent fighting leaves 1,500 displaced and without aid, UN reports

Listen to article

24 February - Over 1,500 people have been displaced by increased fighting in the western part of Sudan's war-torn Darfur region and very few agencies have been able to provide them with desperately-needed aid due to lack of security, the United Nations reported today.

The displaced people have sought refuge in Thur, West Darfur, after fleeing from nearby villages because of increased fighting in the Jebel Marra area last month, the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said, after sending a humanitarian mission there earlier this week.

“However, following the Darfur Framework Agreement signed yesterday between the Sudanese Government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), it is expected that help will quickly begin to reach the areas affected by the recent clashes,” UNAMID added, referring to the cessation of hostilities pact the Government signed in Doha, Qatar, with the main rebel group.

“UNAMID is already finalising plans for other similar missions to the affected areas, in coordination with other humanitarian agencies.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday hailed the Doha accord as “an important step towards an inclusive and comprehensive peace agreement” for Darfur, where nearly seven years of war between the Government, its militia allies and various rebel groups have killed at least 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million others from their homes. He called on all parties in the conflict to agree on a definitive political settlement

Other rebels have still not signed agreements with the Government. Earlier this month Assistant-Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Dmitry Titov reported to the Security Council that two rebel coalitions known as the Addis and Tripoli Groups have shown themselves unprepared so far for substantive negotiations.