2 February 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12081
AFR/1804

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN OVER MILITARY BUILD-UP IN SOUTH DARFUR


The following statement was issued on Sunday, 1 February, by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General is gravely concerned by reports of a build-up of Government and rebel forces in the area around Muhajeria in South Darfur, and by the possibility of renewed fighting between the Government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).


The Secretary-General calls on the Government of Sudan and the JEM to cease all military activities in South Darfur.  The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law and expresses his deep concern over the suffering which these military confrontations would bring to the civilian population, including the thousands of internally displaced persons who have sought refuge in camps and villages surrounding Muhajeria.


The Secretary-General reiterates that the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) will continue to do its utmost to protect civilians in these difficult circumstances, and reminds the parties of their fundamental responsibility to work with UNAMID to ensure that civilians are protected from harm.


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For information media • not an official record