Friday, 5 October 2012

Deteriorating Security Situation in Darfur, Sudan

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 4, 2012

The United States is deeply concerned by the sharp deterioration in security in North Darfur and adjacent parts of Jebel Marra, Sudan. We note in particular the serious and credible reports that over seventy civilians were killed in Hashaba, North Darfur, as a result of aerial bombardment and fighting between Sudanese government forces and rebels between September 25-27. We call for an immediate and unconditional end to the aerial bombardment of civilian areas by the Sudanese Armed Forces, which are an unacceptable violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1591 and a violation of international humanitarian law.
We are also appalled by the recent deadly attack on a patrol of the United Nations – African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on October 2 in El Geneina, West Darfur, which resulted in the death of four peacekeepers and the injury of eight others. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms all attacks on UNAMID personnel. We call on the Government of Sudan and the Darfur Regional Authority to conduct promptly full and credible investigations into all attacks against UNAMID, and to hold the perpetrators accountable.
These attacks mark a significant and alarming worsening in security in Darfur, which is having a serious impact on the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. A recent tightening of restrictions on humanitarian actors in Darfur, including UN agencies, also raises doubts about the Government of Sudan’s willingness to implement the agreement. The Government of Sudan should allow UNAMID and humanitarian actors full and unfettered access to all parts of Darfur in order to protect and assist the victims of the conflict, and to support implementation of the agreement.