Peace agreement needed in Darfur, says UNAMID Force Commander

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Civilians in Darfur. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

A negotiated peace agreement to resolve the conflict in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan, is needed to protect civilians according to the force commander of UN peacekeepers there.

More than 200,000 people have been displaced by fighting in the south of Darfur since the beginning of the year.

UN officials have repeatedly called on all sides to join negotiations aimed at achieving a permanent ceasefire.

Lt. General Paul Ignace Mella of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says the people of region can only be truly protected if a peace deal is agreed.

"If we can get a negotiated peace agreement, which is inclusive, signed by all parties, that is one of the ways forward. And then from there on we can build on to have more physical and robust protection of civilians." (17")

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced in Darfur since conflict broke out in 2003.

Rebel groups continue to fight government forces and their allied militiamen known as the Janjaweed.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’13″

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