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Sudan: UN Opens Two Roads In Western Darfur

Sudan: UN Opens Two Roads In Western Darfur To Humanitarian Relief

Following an upsurge of violence in western Darfur that has limited access to humanitarian relief, the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) today announced plans to re-open two roads east of the regional capital, Geneina, and immediately begin assessing humanitarian needs in the area.

The decision followed a meeting held by the UN with over 45 community leaders who have given their assurances that humanitarian vehicles would be granted safe passage. UNMIS said additional security assessments are planned for the coming days.

The mission said the opening of the two routes means that UN agencies can travel to areas off the main roads to deliver mobile clinic services and much-needed supplies that have been deemed “no-go” areas for months.

Last week, with UNMIS reporting banditry, looting and ethnic fighting in western Darfur, Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced grave concern about the worsening situation in the area and called on all parties to respect the ceasefire agreement reached in April of last year by the Government and rebel groups that was meant to end the strife in which hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed and millions displaced.

Darfur’s overall security situation remains tense, however, according to the mission, which has received reports that last Friday, armed tribesmen attacked eight civilians in a village in South Darfur, killing two, looting their belongings and causing women and children to flee from a nearby displaced persons camp.

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