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Monday, 09/20/2010

France calls on Sudan to lift restrictions on UNAMID and aid groups in Darfur


Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 8, 2010 (PARIS) — France called on Sudan to lift restrictions on the movement of peacekeepers and ensure access of aid groups to the needy in the restive region of Darfur.

Sudanese authorities ban the movement of the peacekeepers in several parts of Darfur where they consider it as military zone they also ban the access of aid groups to many areas in Darfur particularly in Jebel Marra.
The head of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari asked the Sudanese government, in a press conference held in Khartoum, to lift restrictions on the movement of its personnel to enable them to deliver humanitarian assistance to the affected population.

"We fully agree with Mr Gambari calling for the lifting of restrictions on access and movement of UNAMID and humanitarian actors on the whole Darfur, said the spokesperson of the French foreign ministry, Bernard Valero.
Valero also stressed that the special international envoys to Sudan expressed their concern over the restrictions imposed on the movement of UNAMID. The envoy in a statement issued on 5 July in El Fasher "underscored the need for full humanitarian access and freedom of movement for UNAMID and the humanitarian community".

The meeting stressed the need for the Government of Sudan to lift all restrictions on the use of UNAMID air assets.
Last month Sudan lifted a temporary ban on UNAMID flights in Darfur. However, the mission is still negotiating with the Sudanese government to get permission for the tactical helicopters provided by the Ethiopian government since February 2010.

Gambari told reporters he is "in constant touch" with the Sudanese government officials on the issue of freedom of access. He also blamed the rebel groups for restricting the movements of the UNAMID in certain areas underlining that "persistent, deliberate restriction on such movements to provide humanitarian assistance is also a violation of the international humanitarian law," he said.
The UN Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UNAMID for the third time since 2008 where it took over from the African Union Mission in Sudan.

"We intend to ensure that the Security Council reminds the Government of Sudan to its obligations, given the critical contribution to UNAMID in favor of peace and stability in Darfur," said the French spokesperson.














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