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Ban Ki-moon sounds alarm on violence in outskirts of Sudanese capital

Ban Ki-moon sounds alarm on violence in outskirts of Sudanese capital

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefs  journalists at news conference (file photo)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced grave concern over the fighting spurred by attacks by the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) forces that has broken out on the outskirts of the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

Mr. Ban “condemns strongly the use of armed force and military means by JEM for the achievement of political ends and calls for an immediate cessation of fighting and a renewed commitment to a peaceful resolution of outstanding issues,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

He also expressed his anxiety over the impact of the recent violence on the overall situation in Sudan, as well as on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended 21 years of civil war between South Sudan and the national Government of the country, and the Darfur Agreement, targeting the war-torn region on the country's western flank.

Furthermore, the Secretary-General voiced concern over the “possible effect on the civilian lives and property of any escalation of such attack.”

Yesterday, the UN and African Union (AU) envoys spearheading efforts to reach a lasting political solution in Darfur underlined the civilian suffering resulting from the fighting.

Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim said in a statement that they are “alarmed and deeply troubled” by the military escalation between the Government and JEM.

Noting that all sides have agreed that there is no military solution to the five-year conflict in Darfur, the parties must “act accordingly.”

More than 200,000 people have been killed and at least 2.5 million displaced from their homes since 2003, when rebels began fighting Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen in the arid and impoverished region of Darfur.