7 November 2012

Sudan: UNAMID Sends Verification Team to Sigili, Calls on All Communities to Exercise Restrai

Photo: Derk Segaar/IRIN
Displaced (file photo).

press release

El Fasher — On 6 November, UNAMID deployed a civilian-military team to Sigli and Abu Delek areas, southeast of El Fasher, North Darfur, to verify recent reports of alleged violence. The team found Sigili village completely deserted, with apparent signs of an abrupt departure. It also noticed several signs of destruction of housing and property, killed animals, and burnt houses. Ammunition was also found in different sites across the village. The mission to Abu Delek was stopped by members of the Popular Defense Forces.

"I urge the Government of Sudan to swiftly conduct its planned investigation into Sigli incident and bring the perpetrators to justice," said the Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator a.i., Aichatou Mindaoudou.

On the way to Abu Delek area, located approximately 60 kilometers southeast of El Fasher, the verification team was stopped by members of the Popular Defense Forces, who insisted on searching the 9-vehicle convoy. After lengthy discussion, the team decided to turn back to El Fasher and postpone the mission to Abu Delek.

The mission to Abu Delek was the second attempt to access the area. On 25 October 2012, UNAMID dispatched a verification patrol to verify reports of alleged clashes between government forces and armed groups. As it approached Abu Delek, the patrol came under heavy gunfire from an unidentified armed group.

The Acting Head of Mission reiterated her call to all communities across Darfur to exercise restraint, and to put an end to inter-communal violence that has caused deep suffering and unacceptable loss of lives.

Mindaoudou also stressed that UNAMID will continue to work, in an impartial and independent manner, with all Darfur stakeholders to help reduce tensions, foster reconciliation and promote an inclusive peace process.

Established in July 2007, UNAMID has the protection of civilians as its core mandate. In addition, the Mission is tasked with facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid and assisting with an inclusive peace process in Darfur, among other responsibilities.

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