The head of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari has once again called for the immediate release of two national staff members who have been detained by the Sudanese authorities for more than two months.
The mission (UNAMID) said it would continue to engage the authorities regarding the release of Idris Abdelrahman and Hawa Abdalla, who were both reported to be doing well.
“We will do everything to secure their release,” Gambari, stressed in a press release made available to United Nations Correspondents in New York.
Gambari had previously stated that the arrest of the two national staff contravened the Status of Forces Agreement between UNAMID and the Government of Sudan, and added “All UN staff have functional immunity, protection from charges that might be levelled against them for activities related to their official duties’’.
Darfur has been wracked by conflict and large-scale displacement since fighting first erupted between rebels, Government forces and allied militiamen in 2003. An estimated 300,000 people have been killed and as many as 2.7million others displaced.
Also, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his disappointment over the continued fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan state and called on the parties to agree to a cessation of hostilities.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban deplored the grave humanitarian impact of the fighting between northern and southern forces that has displaced an estimated 73,000 people since it began a few weeks ago.
“The Secretary-General calls on the parties to immediately cease hostilities, ensure the protection of civilians and provide all support necessary for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need”, the statement said.
In the statement, Mr. Ban also called on the parties to resolve the underlying issues to the conflict through political dialogue, building on the Framework Agreement on political and security arrangements for South Kordofan signed last week between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-North).
He offered the UN’s continued support to the Sudanese Government and all stakeholders toward resolving the conflict, implementing a ceasefire, and facilitating the provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need.