7 August 2010 Escalating tensions in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southern Darfur were the focus of talks between the head of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission and senior Sudanese officials.
On Thursday, Ibrahim Gambari, who also serves as AU-UN Joint Special Representative in Darfur, met with Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, Sudan's Minister of the Interior, and several top defense and police officials to discuss the situation in Kalma camp.
Mr. Gambari thanked Mr. Hamid for his Government's cooperation with the mission, known as UNAMID, stressing the need to rapidly resolve the situation in the camp to protect civilians in and around the site, where deadly clashes broke out recently between IDPs who support peace talks being held in Doha, Qatar, and those who oppose them.
The UN-AU envoy also called for a climate of cooperation and dialogue between the two parties in order to protect civilians, enable humanitarian assistance, recognize UNAMID's mandate and respect the Sudanese Government's sovereignty.
On six people who sought refuge at the mission's local Community Policing Centre, Mr. Gambari stressed that under its mandate, UNAMID is obliged to ensure that due process and the protection of individual's rights are ensured at all times.
For his part, Mr. Hamid promised that the Government will work closely with UNAMID towards a peaceful resolution to the situation, adding that security in Darfur is a priority for both parties.
He said that the security of Kalma camp as been a major source of concern for many years.
Also in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, Mr. Gambari briefed AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping and the heads of the five permanent members of the Security Council on UNAMID's efforts to reach an amicable solution to the problems in the camp.
As many as 2.7 million Darfurians live as IDPs or as refugees in neighbouring countries as a result of the seven-year-old conflict in the western region of Sudan that has also resulted in an estimated 300,000 deaths.
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