Sudan 'blocks' UN access in Darfur fighting areas

2018-06-22 15:30
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sudanese forces in Darfur have blocked UN personnel from reaching areas where fighting has displaced hundreds of civilians, the UN said on Thursday, as it continues to draw down peacekeepers in the war-torn region.

Hundreds of civilians have been newly displaced in the Jebel Marra mountains of Darfur where fighting intensified this month between Sudanese forces and the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid rebel group.

"The continued fighting is deplorable and should stop immediately, while unhindered access should be granted to enable humanitarian aid agencies to reach the affected population," Jeremiah Mamabolo, the head of the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), said in a statement.

"Attempts by UNAMID to verify the situation on the ground have been blocked, with government forces denying mission personnel access to areas of conflict," the statement said.

The latest fighting in Jebel Marra region comes despite a ceasefire unilaterally announced by Khartoum in March, applying to Darfur and another conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The clashes have intensified at a time when the United Nations is looking to further scale back its peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER 

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix said earlier in June that the latest plan calls for the number of troops to be reduced from 8 735 to 4 050 by June 2019, while cutting the police force to 1 870 from its current level of 2 500.

The Security Council agreed last year to trim the UNAMID mission - once among the biggest and costliest of all peace operations - as the United States pressed for budget cuts to peacekeeping.

UN peacekeepers now plan to focus their efforts on Jebel Marra area where fighting continues.

The council is scheduled to vote on June 28 on the latest proposed cuts to UNAMID.

The conflict in Darfur erupted in 2003 when ethnic African rebels took up arms against Sudan's government, accusing it of marginalisation. Khartoum now insists that the conflict has ended in Darfur.

Deployed in 2007, UNAMID once had 16 000 blue helmets on the ground tasked with protecting civilians.

Last year, the council agreed to a two-stage drawdown that reduced the number of troops from 13 000 to 11 400 and then to 8 735 by the end of June this year.

The number of police dropped from 3 150 to 2 888 by January and 2 500 by June.

The United Nations says that over the years the conflict has killed about 300 000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million, with many still living in sprawling camps.

Read more on:    un  |  au  |  sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.