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The Continuing Crisis In Darfur

The Continuing Crisis In Darfur
Sudan's armed forces are stepping up operations in North and South Darfur, violating ceasefire agreements, including one it declared itself in November 2008, aimed at bringing peace to the troubled region.

The latest air strikes around El Fasher, North Darfur, confirmed by United Nations peacekeepers in the region, as well as by the Government of Sudan, were aimed at anti-government rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement, or JEM, who had been vying for control of the town of Muhajaria, South Darfur, with another rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army of Minni Minawi.

The United States condemns these actions and urges the combatants to recommit to the peace process under the leadership of Joint Chief Mediator Djiubril Yipene Bassole.

Representatives of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur haven't released a specific count of how many civilians were killed when Sudanese jets bombed locations in Darfur last weekend, but casualties were reportedly suffered, as well as new displacements created.

Air attacks in Darfur are forbidden under the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement signed by Khartoum and SLA/Minni Minawi, and several U.N. Security Council resolutions. But once again, the government of President Omar Hassan el-Bashir has chosen to flout these commitments and disregard the demands of the international community for Sudan to resolve the crisis. The new military actions, as well as the JEM aggression which precipitated them, only serve to perpetuate it, and both sets of hostilities must stop.

Six years of fighting in the region has killed an estimated 200,000 people and driven 2.5 million more from their homes. Enough is enough.

The U.S. welcomes the statement of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemning the latest Darfur hostilities, and demands all combatants to cease hostilities and provocations in Darfur immediately.