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Reports That Sudanese Police Attack Displaced Camp

UN ALARM AT REPORTS THAT SUDANESE POLICE ATTACK DISPLACED CAMP IN SOUTH DARFUR

New York, Aug 25 2008 5:10PM

The United Nations has voiced grave concern over reports that Sudanese police vehicles today surrounded a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur and that civilians were killed during subsequent attacks inside the camp.

“Such actions severely threaten the safety and security of civilians, who have a right to protection under international humanitarian law,” UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters today in New York as she urged restraint.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan has called for the immediate establishment of a humanitarian corridor at the Kalma camp, which is home to about 80,000 IDPs, so that the injured may be evacuated.

The joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has sent police and military patrols to Kalma to confirm the details of the incident and provide any assistance needed.

Ms. Okabe added that the mission’s leadership is extremely concerned by today’s incident, stressing that the circumstances will be investigated and the entire situation is being closely monitored.

<"http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unamid/index.html">UNAMID has also reported banditry by Janjaweed militiamen at two IDP camps in West Darfur state and inter-tribal clashes in a South Darfur village.

The mission has been in place in Darfur since the start of the year in a bid to try to quell the deadly fighting and humanitarian suffering that has afflicted the impoverished Sudanese region since 2003.

In the past five years an estimated 300,000 people have been killed, either through direct combat, disease, malnutrition or reduced life expectancy, while another 2.7 million people have been forced to flee from their homes because of fighting between rebels, Government forces and allied Janjaweed.


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