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Creation of New High-Level Committee on Darfur

Ban Welcomes Creation of New High-Level Committee on Darfur

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the establishment of the new Ministerial Committee aimed at furthering peace efforts in the war-torn western Sudanese region of Darfur.

The body will be chaired by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar; Amr Moussa, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States; and Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.

About 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed, either through direct combat or as a result of disease, malnutrition or reduced life expectancy, since the Darfur conflict began five years ago, and more than 2.7 million others have been displaced from their homes.

According to a statement issued by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, the Committee will also work closely with Djibril Bassolé, the AU-UN Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur.

In a related development, Mr. Bassolé today expressed his concern over reports of continued clashes in Darfur. There are reports that Sudanese Government forces launched sustained aerial bombardments over the past week near the villages of Birmaza and Disa in North Darfur state.

He “calls on all parties to exercise restraint and cease all military activities in order to protect civilians and create conditions for political dialogue,” according to a statement issued in Khartoum by his spokesperson.

ENDS

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