The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Darfur following reports of an escalation of hostilities between the Government of Sudan and the Darfur armed movements in Central Darfur and the resulting displacement of civilians. The United Nations has confirmed that at least 36,000 civilians have been displaced in Darfur due to these hostilities.
He condemns the reported aerial bombardment and destruction of villages in the Golo locality of Central Darfur State on 27 January.
The Secretary-General urges the Government and the armed movements to exercise maximum restraint, without delay, and fully assume their responsibility to prevent further displacements and suffering of civilian populations, and resume dialogue to reach a political settlement to the Darfur conflict.
The Secretary-General also calls on the parties to the conflict to fully cooperate with the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the humanitarian partners in their efforts to protect and provide assistance to the civilian population of Darfur.