Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative in Sudan has called on all parties to immediately cease the fighting which erupted today in the southern town of Malakal, stressing the need to ensure the safety and security of civilians in the area.
Ashraf Jehangir Qazi also called on all concerned to “act responsibly to resolve their differences,” according to a press statement issued by the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which was set up to support the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended two decades of north-south civil war in Sudan.
Mr. Qazi said it is particularly important for the military leadership of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to ensure that the Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) – which are combined SAF and SPLA forces – fulfilled their function as integrated units working together to protect civilians.
“UNMIS is actively engaged through the existing CPA mechanisms to bring about a quick and durable settlement of the confrontation in Malakal and to prevent any recurrence of such incidents,” the statement added.
In his most recent report on Sudan, Mr. Ban warned that four years after the signing of the CPA, the overall security situation remains fragile and unpredictable as a 2011 referendum looms on whether the South should secede or remain united with the rest of the country.