News / Africa

UN Security Council Condemns Violence in Camp for Darfur Refugees

The United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned the violence in the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons in Darfur along with attacks on humanitarian and U.N. personnel in Darfur.  Larry Freund reports from New York.

The Security Council welcomed the effort of the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, to increase patrols and restore calm.

The president of the council, Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin, said council members stressed the need for a demilitarized status for the Kalma camp and other sites for people in Darfur. "They condemned any attacks against humanitarian or U.N. personnel in Darfur and expressed deep concern at the trend of kidnappings and intimidation.  They expressed their continued concern that some restrictions remain on humanitarian access to Kalma Camp and to other areas of Darfur.  They recalled the obligations of the Sudanese authorities and all other parties to insure a timely and unhindered humanitarian access," he said.

Churkin added that the camps are supposed to be demilitarized.

United Nations spokesman Martin Nesirky said UNAMID is continuing what he described as confidence-building patrols inside the Kalma camp. "On Saturday, 13 houses for displaced people were burned to the ground in one area of the camp and access continues to be granted to humanitarian NGO's for entry into Kalma by the Humanitarian Aid Commission.  There have been no new population movements reported either within or out of the camp," he said.

Sudan's representative at the United Nations, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, discussed what he described as his government's new strategy to deal with the conflict in Darfur.  He said it includes the involvement of "everybody" in Darfur in a peace agreement, a development and recovery program that allows the safe and dignified return of refugees to their places in Darfur, and assurance of the safety of peacekeepers and humanitarian workers.

Osman denied that the new strategy is intended to reduce the importance of the peace talks in Doha. "It's not the intention at all to depart from the Doha process.  The aim of this strategy is to involve all the stakeholders in Darfur.  The Doha process will continue," he said.

Humanitarian workers were allowed back into the Kalma camp last week after their access had been blocked by Sudan for nearly two weeks after the eruption of violence in the camp.

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