U.S. Concern about Sharp Escalation of Violence and Insecurity in Darfur
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
We are deeply concerned by the sharp escalation in violence and insecurity in Darfur resulting from actions committed by Sudanese Government forces, government-sponsored militias, and Darfuri armed movements.
On March 22, 300 unidentified, heavily armed men reportedly attacked the Khor Abeche Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, and between March 15 and 17, the Sudanese Government-supported Rapid Support Forces (RSF) attacked sixteen villages in North and South Darfur kidnapping and killing civilians. Additionally, we are disturbed by reports that on March 18, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) bombed several villages in East Jebel Marra, which resulted in a number of civilian casualties and the displacement of over 15,000 civilians. Equally alarming are reports of several incidents involving elements of Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement/ Minni Minawi faction and the Sudan Liberation Movement/ Abdul Wahid faction, which resulted in heavy civilian casualties in North Darfur.
The United States strongly condemns these attacks. We urge all parties to immediately halt attacks against civilians, and further call upon the Government of Sudan to prevent further violence, particularly the indiscriminate attacks committed by government-sponsored militias, such as the RSF, and to cease its own campaign of aerial bombardments.
We also reiterate our call for the Government of Sudan to immediately allow full and unfettered humanitarian access to affected populations who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and to cease obstructing the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) as it works to carry out its mandate to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian access.
Violence and insecurity in Darfur so far this year have displaced an estimated 215,000 civilians. We urge the Government of Sudan and armed movements to begin an inclusive and comprehensive political dialogue to bring peace to Sudan and to reestablish the rule of law.