The Unites States of America condemned an offensive conducted by the government of Sudan in West Darfur. Rebel forces of the Justice and Equality Movement have been battling the government in recent days and were under bombardment since their withdrawal from peace talks earlier this month. The US is currently backing the stalled mediation effort being hosted in Doha. Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State, said on Tuesday afternoon “the United States condemns the recent offensive actions in Darfur, particularly the Government of Sudan’s use of aerial bombings and local militias against Darfur rebel positions in the Jebel Moon area of West Darfur. Such operations endanger civilians and lead to mass displacement.”
The Sudanese army claims to have killed 108 rebel fighters in the attack on Jebel Moon. The Justice and Equality Movement says that it evacuated the mountainous area before the attack. Crowley added, “Subsequent incidents of looting and attacks on infrastructure by the Justice and Equality Movement further endanger civilian populations and must immediately cease.”
“We urge both the Government of Sudan and the Darfur rebel movements to refrain from any further actions that would undermine the Darfur peace process or endanger civilians, and we urge all parties to return to active negotiations in the AU/UN-mediated peace process in Doha, Qatar, to reach a political settlement to the conflict in Darfur. We also call on the Government of Sudan to grant access to the affected areas to the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and to humanitarian organizations,” stated the US diplomat.