Sudan: Attacks On Rebels In North Darfur Must Stop
SUDAN: ATTACKS ON REBELS IN NORTH DARFUR MUST STOP, UN AND AFRICAN ENVOYS SAY
New York, Aug 1 2006 10:00AM
Senior United Nations and African Union (AU) envoys to Sudan today jointly condemned a recent militia-backed attack by Government forces against a rebel group in the northern part of the country’s strife-torn Darfur region and called for an immediate end to the hostilities.
The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission in Sudan, Baba Gana Kingibe, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, Jan Pronk, expressed “utmost concern” about the 29 July attack against the group, which is one that has not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement.
The incident in the area of Kulkul in North Darfur State was preceded by fighting between the same rebel group and the Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi faction, and then between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the rebel group.
“The Special Representatives express dismay and disappointment that despite their appeal to the parties in their joint statement on fighting in Jebel Moon on 28 July to abide by the existing Agreement on ceasefire and security and humanitarian arrangements, fighting has continued in total disregard of the need to guarantee the safety of civilians,” the two said in their joint statement.
The fighting has caused “a yet unknown number of villagers” to flee the area.
The envoys voiced particular concern about allegations that an SAF Antonov bombed Hassan village, south of Kulkul. The Ceasefire Commission is probing these allegations, which, if confirmed, would constitute a violation of Security Council Resolution 1591 (2005), the statement noted. That text, on sanctions, was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, allowing for enforcement measures.
All parties involved in the ongoing conflict in Darfur are required to “fully cooperate with the African Union in order to ensure prompt and thorough investigations into any reported fighting,” the envoys noted.
Calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, they reiterated that a military solution to the ongoing conflict “is not an option to be pursued by any of the parties.”
The parties were urged to give top priority to consolidating ongoing efforts to stabilize the security situation in Darfur. Those who have not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement must abide by earlier commitments to observe the ceasefire, said the Special Representatives, reiterating their call “on all the parties to cease attacks and refrain from provoking attacks.”