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UN chief António Guterres urges restraint after Darfur violence

July 30 - 2020 NEW YORK
UN Secretary-General António Guterres (UN Photo)
UN Secretary-General António Guterres (UN Photo)

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has expressed deep concern about the increasing violence in many parts of the Darfur region of Sudan, notably the attacks in Misterei in West Darfur on 25 July and in Fata Bono in Kutum locality, North Darfur on 13 July, in which dozens of people were killed and more than 1,500 houses burned, leaving thousands displaced and in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

In statement from the UN headquarters in New York yesterday, Guterres commends the efforts by the Sudanese authorities, under the leadership of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, in responding to these incidents, and calls for an investigation to ensure accountability.

“Deliberate attacks against civilians violate international human rights law and international humanitarian law”, the statement underlines. The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support the implementation of the national protection strategy developed recently by the Transitional Government, and assures that “the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (Unamid) will continue to focus on its protection mandate, and humanitarian partners continue to provide emergency relief”.

In yesterday’s statement, the Secretary-General urges all armed groups, particularly those that have not joined the ongoing peace talks in Juba, to resolve their grievances through a political process. “As Sudan continues its process of democratic transition, there is a clear imperative to end the conflict in Darfur with a definitive and inclusive peace agreement,” he says.

Misterei massacre

At least 60 people were killed and 60 others were wounded in an attack by armed men in Misterei in West Darfur on Saturday 25 July. Exact figures of casualties are yet to be ascertained, however both the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, and the West Darfur Doctors’ Committee confirm a death tool exceeding 60. The victims were buried the same day according to Muslim tradition.

Members of Resistance Committees active in the neighbourhoods in West Darfur condemn the deadly attack saying it “amounts to genocide”.

Fata Borno sit-in dispersed

At least nine people were killed and 17 others wounded during an attack by militiamen on the sit-in at Fata Borno camp for the displaced in Kutum locality in North Darfur on July 13. A State of Emergency has been declared throughout the state.

The militiamen riding on camels, horses, and motorcycles, violently broke-up the sit-in. They plundered and torched the camp market of Fata Borno and a number of homes, and set two vehicles on fire.

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