Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2008

Commissioner Michel appeals to Sudanese parties for end of violence in Abyei


IP/08/778

Brussels, 21 May 2008

Commissioner Michel appeals to Sudanese parties for end of violence in Abyei

Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, called on both the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan to agree an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all armed forces from the Sudanese town of Abyei following the recent escalation of fighting.

“I urge all parties to accept a formal ceasefire in and around Abyei. Sudan faces a stark choice between an escalation of hostilities or working towards a lasting political solution
in the spirit of and according to the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. There is no doubt that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement offers the only route towards a peaceful future for the people of Sudan both in the North and the South. I welcome and encourage the efforts of all those across Sudan working to this end, including all those within the National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement”, Commissioner Michel said.

Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced because of the fighting. Living conditions in the region are increasingly difficult with many people lacking the very basics for survival such as clean drinking water. Commissioner Michel reminded all sides of their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure security and access for humanitarian workers.

Commissioner Michel added, “I call upon all parties to allow safe access to this area for European Commission humanitarian staff as well as workers from our humanitarian partners and other international organisations. Their work is crucial for the civilian population there and their security must be guaranteed.”


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