SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS RECENT OFFENSIVES IN SUDAN
NEW YORK, 6 July (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General today reiterated his deep concern about the effects on the civilian population of recent military offensives in the southern province of Bahr El Ghazal in the Sudan. The fighting has caused massive disruption, and comes at a time when farming communities should have been fully engaged in planting for the next harvest season.
Instead, many thousands have fled into Government-controlled areas. The area from which they have fled has traditionally been a "bread basket" area, and there are real fears now of coming food shortages in a locality where there was once a surplus.
Operation Lifeline Sudan, together with the humanitarian community, is providing immediate relief assistance to cope with the crisis.
The Secretary-General much regrets that, once again in the Sudan, it is the civilian population which bears the brunt of armed conflict, and reiterates the need for the parties to the conflict to resolve their differences by peaceful means.
* *** *