8 February 2013

Sudan: U.S. Urges Sudan to Allow Humanitarian Access in Darfur

Khartoum — U.S. administration said deeply alarmed by the recent surge of violence in Darfur and called on the Sudanese government to grant unfettered humanitarian access to all the region to deliver aid to the needy civilians.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland in a statement released on Friday said that recent tribal fighting in North Darfur and clashes between the Sudanese army and rebels in Jebel Marra displaced over 100,000 people who are in need for humanitarian assistance.

The US diplomat pointed out that the number of civilians displaced in Darfur by increase of violence in January 2013 is more than in all of 2012.

"To meet the humanitarian needs of those affected by these clashes, we call on the Sudanese government to grant UN agencies unrestricted access to all areas of Darfur", Nuland said. She further appealed on Khartoum to work closely with the UN agencies and UNAMID to deliver humanitarian aid.

Since the last week of December 2012, clashes erupted in two areas in Jebel Marra when fighters from Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) took the control of Jaldo and Golo in Central Darfur state.

UMAID said the two parties, Sudanese army and SLM-AW blocked humanitarian teams from reaching the displaced civilians. However, the rebel group denied such restriction and expressed willingness to cooperate with UN agencies to deliver food to the needy.

On the other hand, on the 5th January of this year fighting erupted in the Jabel Amir area, North Darfur state, between the Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes over the control of gold mines.

The tribal clashes resulted in a mass displacement of some 70,000 people according to the government figures. However, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), reported that at least 100,000 people have been displaced or affected by the fighting.

UNAMID had a prompt reaction to the humanitarian situation and sought to reach civilians who massively fled to Kabkabiya, Saraf Omra and Al Sereif towns.

However the joint mission signalled in a report released on 11 January that Beni Hussein tribesman prevented a verification patrol from reaching Jebel Amer on 7 January.

Ambassador Nuland further urged the Sudanese government to disarm militias in Darfur, to stop air attacks and to implement the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur "as the basis for a more inclusive and effective peace process".

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