The following statement was issued by the United Nations and the African Union today in New York and Addis Ababa:
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, express deep concern about the upsurge in fighting between the Government of Sudan forces and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid, in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur, and its effect on civilians. Since the outbreak of violence six weeks ago, over 90,000 civilians have been displaced in North Darfur, in addition to 2.6 million already displaced by the conflict. There are also unconfirmed reports of significant numbers of displaced people in Central Darfur, which humanitarian organizations have been unable to verify due to access restrictions.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General call on the Government to fully cooperate with UNAMID [African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur] to facilitate its freedom of movement, as well as that of the humanitarian actors, in their continued efforts to protect and provide assistance to the civilian population affected by the fighting.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General stress that there is no military solution to the conflict in Darfur, and call on all parties to engage in earnest in negotiations for a cessation of hostilities leading to a peaceful settlement of the conflict. They reiterate their support to the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan, as well as to UNAMID, in their relentless efforts to facilitate the peace process.