11 October 2005

Deeply Concerned about Upsurge of Violence in Darfur, Sudan, Secretary-General "Strongly Condemns" Killing of African Union Personnel

NEW YORK, 10 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the upsurge in violence in Darfur.  In particular, he strongly condemns the killing of three peacekeepers and two contractors affiliated with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), as well as the abduction of other AMIS personnel over the weekend.  The apparent targeting of the AU Mission is completely unacceptable.  The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the families of the bereaved, the African Union and the respective Governments.

The Secretary-General reminds the parties that AMIS is an impartial force deployed to assist the people of the region and the parties to the conflict.  He calls on the Government of Sudan and the rebel movements to assist in bringing those responsible to account without delay.  The Secretary-General reminds the Government that it has the ultimate responsibility for the protection of peacekeepers and humanitarian workers.

The Secretary-General calls on the Government and the rebel movements to take immediate steps to stabilize the situation in Darfur, and at the same time engage seriously in the talks in Abuja with a view to reaching an early political settlement.

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