2 March 2010 The joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) is trying to verify reports of fighting in the western part of the strife-torn Sudanese region, with the head of the mission calling on all parties to refrain from any action that could thwart ongoing peace efforts.
“UNAMID is particularly concerned that, if confirmed, the reported acts of violence would be coming at a time that good progress is being made in the quest for peace and stability in the region,” the mission said in a news release concerning the clashes in Jebel Marra.
Last week in Doha, Qatar, a cessation of hostilities agreement was signed between the Government and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), in a bid to attempt to end the nearly seven years of fighting that has killed at least 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million others from their homes in Darfur.
Ibrahim Gambari, the AU-UN Joint Special Representative and head of UNAMID, called again today on all parties “to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from any action that could further add to the suffering of the population” and negatively affect ongoing initiatives for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Darfur.
He reminded the parties that any armed confrontation invariably leads to casualties among combatants and dire consequences for civilians, with loss of life, destruction of property and massive displacements of the population.
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