"Biggest problem" in Darfur is denial of access to people in need

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A UNAMID peacekeeper interacts with a lady during a daily patrol aimed at protecting newly displaced persons at the Zam Zam camp near El Fasher, North Darfur, on 16 March 2015. Photo by Hamid Abdulsalam, UNAMID.

Peace and security in Darfur has not improved during the last year according to the head of UN peacekeeping operations.

Hervé Ladsous was briefing the Security Council on Tuesday on the latest developments in the western Sudanese region including the activities of the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

The Mission has been in Darfur since July 2007 with the mandate of protecting civilians and promoting the rule of law.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

Two and a half million people are currently displaced in Darfur due to ongoing violence.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations said the humanitarian situation significantly deteriorated in 2014, with no less than 450,000 new displacements.

That's the highest volume of people fleeing their homes since the peak of the conflict in 2004, when civil war broke out between rebel groups and Sudanese government forces and their allied militia.

Hervé Ladsous told members of the Security Council that the Sudanese Government is still preventing the UN from doing its work.

"The biggest problem is the government's denial of access for UNAMID to conflict affected areas and that continues to impede significantly the ability of the mission to implement its mandate for the protection of civilians." (0'15")

Mr Ladsous explained that this was the case in North Darfur in Tabit, following allegations of mass rape last October.

He also reported that the UN is actively engaged in discussing the gradual exit of the Mission from Darfur as requested by the Sudanese Government.

A proposal suggesting a transfer of tasks in a phased manner will be ready by the end of May, he added.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’17″

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