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29.12.2010 Sudan


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24 December - The United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) voiced grave concern today over the ongoing clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and rebel movements in the strife-torn region.

“UNAMID calls on all parties to cease hostilities, which not only endanger the lives of innocent civilians but also further jeopardize the peace process,” the mission said in a statement.

The recently reported clashes occurred in Dar al-Salaam, North Darfur, about 60 kilometres south of El Fasher, where the mission is headquartered.

UNAMID urged both Government forces and rebel movements to ensure safe access for humanitarian groups to displaced persons in Khor Abeche, Shangil Tobaya and Shaeria, where thousands have fled to the mission's team sites after fighting last week.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his concern over the recent clashes in Darfur, where at least 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million others driven from their homes as a result of fighting.

Mr. Ban expressed his support for the work of UNAMID, UN agencies and non-governmental personnel in areas of South Darfur and North Darfur affected by the latest violence, noting that they are working tirelessly to protect civilians under difficult conditions.

He also appealed to rebel groups to rejoin the peace process aimed at ending the conflict, and urged the Government to exercise restraint and to ensure the protection of civilians.

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