Sudan: UN reports continued tension and insecurity in Darfur region

12 October 2005 –

The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) today said the situation in the country’s Darfur region remains tense, marked by unconfirmed reports of clashes between government forces and the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and attacks on villages.

Coming just days after the killing and abduction of African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) personnel in Darfur, UNMIS also reported that almost two-thirds of the humanitarian operations in South Darfur have been suspended for security reasons.

Civilians continue to be displaced amid recent violence in Zam Zam Camp in North Darfur, where there have been 6,000 new arrivals. There are also constraints on humanitarian agencies attempting to make deliveries in Geneina, West Darfur, where all roads in and out of town have now been completely restricted due to armed clashes and roving bandits.

UNMIS also noted concern over recent African Union (AU) reports that white, non-governmental organization (NGO) type Land Cruisers were being used by the government army and the SLA. “If true, this might constitute another serious threat to humanitarian actors operating in the area,” mission spokeswoman Radhia Achouri said in Khartoum.

Also today, the World Food Programme (WFP) reported that the Sudan Petroleum Corporation has indicated it will no longer allocate jet fuel for humanitarian operations. If confirmed, the refusal to allocate fuel could hurt the agency’s accessibility to Darfur.

Two days ago, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Juan Mendez, just back from a visit to the Darfur region described a situation of growing lawlessness, with unprecedented attacks on camps for IDPS by men on horseback or trucks from the Sudanese army. Also on 10 October the Security Council condemned the killings and attacks on AMIS personnel, and called for an immediate end to violence by all parties concerned.

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Sudan, Sima Samar, will be touring the area from 16 to 22 October, her first visit since being appointed to the post in August.

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