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Weekend Attacks By Darfur Rebels Deplored

Security Council slates weekend attacks by Darfur rebels near Sudanese capital

13 May 2008 - The Security Council today deplored the weekend attacks by a Darfurian rebel group against the Sudanese Government on the outskirts of the country's capital, Khartoum, but urged restraint from all sides and warned that no retaliatory action should be taken against civilians.

In a presidential statement read out by Ambassador John Sawers of the United Kingdom, which holds the rotating presidency this month, Council members strongly condemned Saturday's attacks, which were carried out by members of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Omdurman.

The statement called on all sides to immediate stop the fighting, respect international humanitarian law and commit to peacefully resolving all outstanding issues in the Darfur conflict, which has raged since 2003.

"The Security Council urges restraint by all parties, and in particular, warns that no retaliatory action should be taken against civilian populations, or that has an impact on stability in the region," it noted.

Condemning any attempts to destabilize Sudan by force, Council members reaffirmed their commitment to the sovereignty and unity of the African country.

They also called on the region's States to implement their commitments under the Dakar Accord, reached earlier this year by Sudan and Chad in the Senegalese capital, "and to cooperate with a view to putting an end to the activities of armed groups and their attempts to seize power by force."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a similar statement on Saturday after learning of the attacks in Omdurman, which abuts Khartoum.

Since the Darfur conflict began five years ago, as many as 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed through combat, disease, malnutrition or reduced life expectancy and at least 2.7 million others have been displaced from their homes because of fighting between Government forces, allied Janjaweed militiamen and rebel groups such as JEM.

ENDS

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