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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > December
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 16, 2003


Sudan: Situation in Darfur

The United States is deeply concerned with the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the Darfur region of Sudan. Hostilities in Darfur between indigenous opposition groups and the Sudanese Armed Forces and its allied militias have caused non-governmental organizations and the U.N. to curtail needed humanitarian assistance programs. The United States deplores the partiesí lack of engagement to end hostilities in Darfur, despite efforts by the United Nations and the Government of Chad to facilitate talks and a humanitarian cease-fire.

  Reports indicate more than 600,000 civilians have been internally displaced, 75,000 refugees have fled to neighboring Chad, and as many as 3,000 unarmed civilians have been killed.  Many more have been prevented from planting or harvesting crops. Humanitarian access continues to be inhibited by ongoing insecurity and the Government of Sudanís denial of travel permits to humanitarian workers.

The United States calls on all parties to agree to an observable humanitarian cease-fire and engage in substantive dialogue on ending the hostilities in Darfur. Further, the United States calls on the Government of Sudan to take concrete steps to control the militia groups it has armed, to avoid attacks against civilians and to fully facilitate the efforts of the international humanitarian community to respond to civilian needs.

The fighting in Darfur is not linked to the ongoing peace talks between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peopleís Liberation Movement/Army in Kenya.

2003/1271

Released on December 16, 2003

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