NEW YORK, April 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative (JSR) for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, briefed the members of the United Nations Security Council yesterday on what he described as “alarming escalation of violence” in Darfur over the past three months, which has resulted in over 215,000 civilians being displaced.
The JSR explained that there are several factors at play. Of particular concern are the activities in the region of a Government counter-insurgency force known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). They have perpetrated attacks on communities, particularly in South Darfur. A number of villages have been looted, destroyed, and their populations displaced with yet unknown scale of casualties.
Mr. Chambas noted that there has also been an increase in attacks by non-signatory movements on villages and against Government forces as well. He highlighted that inter-communal fighting, mainly over access to resources, had increased along with criminal activities; all of which causing an increase in suffering for the civilian populations in Darfur.
The Head of UNAMID expressed his concern about access restrictions enforced by all the parties to the conflict and insecurity continuing to hamper the provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected population.
Mr. Chambas mentioned that the current security situation in Darfur is serious and has the real potential to undermine the ongoing efforts to seek a political settlement of the conflict. “A cessation of hostilities is a first and vital step towards constructive dialogue and I sincerely hope that the modalities of the initiative for an all-inclusive national dialogue by the Government of sudan will materialize soon and complement our efforts to bring about durable peace, security and development in Darfur,” he said.