Security Council condemns attack on UN convoy in Darfur
The Security Council today condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the attack by Sudanese army elements on a supply convoy of the new joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) and voiced its readiness to act against any party impeding its deployment.
“The Security Council stresses that any attack or threat against UNAMID is unacceptable and demands that there will be no recurrence of attacks on UNAMID,” the 15-member body said in a presidential statement read out by Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi of Libya, which holds the rotating presidency for January.
It welcomed the Sudanese Government’s commitment to undertake a complete and full investigation into the 7 January incident with the UN and African Union (AU), and called on the Government to expedite full compliance with the Council resolution setting up the force by concluding all necessary arrangements for its expeditious deployment and effective use.
The Council urged all parties to the conflict between the Government and rebels, which has killed more than 200,000 people and uprooted 2.2 million others since 2003, to respect an immediate and complete ceasefire, and demanded that they cooperate fully with the deployment of UNAMID and respect its security and freedom of movement.
“The Security Council expresses its readiness to take action against any party that impedes the peace process, humanitarian aid or the deployment of UNAMID,” the statement said, voicing concern at the deteriorating security and humanitarian conditions in Darfur and calling on all Member States to contribute the helicopter and transportation units necessary for the success of the critically under-strength mission.
At present UNAMID, which took over from an AU mission on 31 December, has only 9,000 troops out of its mandated strength of 26,000 and lacks essential logistics and equipment and top UN officials have repeatedly called on Member States to speed up delivery of vital units and assets.
The Council also called on all sides to engage fully and constructively in the search for a political settlement under the leadership of the UN and AU Special Envoys, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, who are scheduled to begin their mission to Sudan tomorrow for consultations with the Government and the rebel movements.
The main objective of the trip is to assess the status of preparations of the parties, including the unification efforts among the rebel movements, so as to determine the possibility of substantive peace talks.