30 September 2005

Secretary-General Alarmed by Escalating Darfur Violence

NEW YORK, 30 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement is attributable to the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is alarmed at the recent escalation in violence in Darfur.  The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attacks on civilians, humanitarian workers and assets, and the African Union Mission in Sudan, and deplores the many casualties.  He is concerned about the additional suffering and displacement these attacks have caused to the civilian populations.  The Secretary-General is particularly appalled by the 28 September attack on a displaced persons camp in west Darfur, during which 34 people are reported to have been killed.

The Secretary-General emphasizes the need to immediately halt the attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.  He urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any further escalation.

In the meantime, the parties must apply themselves fully at the sixth round of the Abuja talks to bring an end to the suffering of the people of Darfur.

The Secretary-General calls upon the Government of Sudan to protect its civilians and to continue its efforts in bringing stability and fostering national reconciliation in the country.

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