Deadly violence continues in Darfur Ban says in latest report

22 October 2010Although there have been substantially fewer clashes between parties to the conflict in Darfur, deadly fighting between communities in the war-ravaged Sudanese region continues, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a new report. Although there have been substantially fewer clashes between parties to the conflict in Darfur, deadly fighting between communities in the war-ravaged Sudanese region continues, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a new report. The 2 September attack by an unidentified group of armed men reportedly dressed in military-style uniforms on a market in the village of Tabarat reported killed nearly 40 people and injured 35 others. Some 3,000 people fled to a neighbouring village following the incident, and information points to a tribal dispute over the abduction of two Arab traders.This, and violence in the Kalma and Hamadiya camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), is “indicative of the continuing fragility of the security situation,” Mr. Ban wrote in his latest report to the Security Council on the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID).He condemned the “heinous” Tabarat attack, welcoming the Sudanese Government’s efforts to investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators.Clashes between Government and rebel forces have destabilized some areas of Darfur, caused new displacements and impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid. “I call upon all belligerents to cease hostilities and join the peace process for the sake of the people they claim to represent,” the Secretary-General said.The prevalence of small arms, competition over land and tension at water points are among the many reasons inter-communal clashes will continue in the future, the report warned. “Unless the Government disarms militias, enhances law and order by addressing impunity, invests in development, and resolves competing land claims, such fighting is likely to continue and could even become the primary source of insecurity and instability in Darfur.”Mr. Ban pointed to “encouraging signs” shown by the Sudanese Government’s new strategy for achieving peace in Darfur, which will be supplemented by a $1.9 billion planned investment for the region’s socio-economic development.The peace process must be inclusive and broad-based to be successful, but the leaders of two key groups – the Abdul Wahid faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-Abdul Wahid) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) – continue to refrain from taking part in the peace talks, he said.The Government also has not yet shown a willingness to make sufficiently attractive concessions to these parties, preventing negotiations from being inclusive, according to the report, which will be discussed in the Council next week.“I therefore urge all the parties to enter into negotiations in good faith without delay and I call upon those Member States that have influence over them to strongly encourage them to do so,” the Secretary-General said. “Only a comprehensive and inclusive negotiated political settlement can bring about a credible cessation of hostilities and address the root causes of conflict in Darfur.”UNAMID was established by the Security Council in 2007 to protect civilians in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million forced from their homes since violence erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and their allied Janjaweed militiamen. read more