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UN and aid agencies warn of Darfur tipping point - Daily News Egypt

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UN and aid agencies warn of Darfur tipping point

Crisis is at a dangerous junction they say Cairo: The United Nations (UN) and affiliates have issued a statement calling for urgent change in Darfur as the situation is becoming untenable. In a joint statement issued in conjunction with such organizations as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and World Health Organization (WHO), the UN …


Crisis is at a dangerous junction they say

Cairo: The United Nations (UN) and affiliates have issued a statement calling for urgent change in Darfur as the situation is becoming untenable.

In a joint statement issued in conjunction with such organizations as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Humanitarian Coordinator’s Office said the “line cannot be held much longer. Access to people in need in December 2006 was the worst since April 2004.

The repeated military attacks, shifting frontlines, and fragmentation of armed groups compromise safe humanitarian access and further victimize civilians who have borne the brunt of this protracted conflict.

Maher Nassar from the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) told The Daily Star Egypt “This is a statement by the UN agencies working in Darfur which we are sharing here with the media as part of our effort to echo issues of shared concern. This is not the first time that UN agencies issue a joint statement on the humanitarian situation in Darfur.

However, the statement reveals a situation which will overwhelm agency resources.

“The humanitarian community cannot indefinitely assure the survival of the population in Darfur if insecurity continues, the statement read.

“The undersigned members of the United Nations Country Team in Sudan welcome concrete steps from both the signatories, including the Government, and the non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement towards a peaceful settlement in Darfur and the respect of international humanitarian law and principles.

Sudan refuses to allow UN peacekeepers or any Western troops in Darfur. Experts believe that Egypt supports the Sudanese stance in this case.

Ibrahim El-Nur, associate professor and director of African studies at the American University in Cairo, believes regional efforts to resolve the Darfur crisis may have reached an impasse.

“The Darfur crisis has been internationalized beyond [the point] in which regional players could play a role, he told The Daily Star Egypt.

The Arab League, for example, has worked towards solving the crisis by moderating the Security Council’s resolution that demanded the intervention of an international force.

“I think the UN is accepting a middle way in which African Union troops would be [enough at the moment] . It’s a possible compromise.

Egypt is also attempting to find a middle ground, Raslan explained, in trying to bring the Sudanese government closer to the UNSC resolution by stipulating that Khartoum must first approve the deployment of international forces.

“Egypt is siding with the Sudanese government against foreign intervention, says El-Nur.

Meanwhile, relief agencies continue to feel the pressure. Twelve relief workers have been killed in the past six months according to the statement.

Camps for the internally displaced (IDPs) face deteriorating conditions, and a cholera outbreak in the camps killed 147 in 2006 according to the report.

The Darfur crisis has spilled over to neighboring countries and its regional implications are part and parcel of the lack of insecurity that threatens relief work.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit met with Chadian counterpart Ahmat Allami last month to discuss the Darfur crisis’ growing regional implications.

Thousands of Sudanese refugees have fled to Chad to escape the decimated region, but the fighting has followed them into Chad where Janjaweed fighters have reportedly conducted raids against them and Chadian civilians.

Aboul Gheit expressed Egypt’s grave concerns on this matter, fearing that it would complicate Chadian-Sudanese relations and have far reaching repercussions in the entire sub-continent.

He stressed that he will also be holding discussions with Sudan so that a security arrangement could be ironed out between the two countries to prevent the raids from continuing.

Aboul Gheit added that a comprehensive solution to the Darfur crisis will alleviate the crisis in Chad and improve the relations between the neighboring countries.

Some villages in southeastern Chad have been attacked by the Janjaweed since November according to press reports. Recent violence has claimed the lives of 300 Chadians. 200,000 people have been displaced, 90,000 of them Chadians.

Assistant Foreign Minister Ambassador Na’ila Gabr stated that Egypt had intensified its efforts this year to support and attempt to solve the prevalent issues in Africa present on the United Nations agenda.

She added that Egypt would focus its efforts on attempting to achieve a unified African position on issues that concern the continent.

Sudan refuses to allow UN peacekeepers or any Western troops in Darfur. Experts believe that Egypt supports the Sudanese stance in this case.

Topics: Aboul Fotouh

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https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2007/01/19/un-and-aid-agencies-warn-of-darfur-tipping-point/
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