UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his concern at reports of the recent build-up and movement of armed elements on both sides of the Chad-Sudan border, and called on the two countries to ease tensions.
“In this context, the Secretary-General welcomes the discussions towards the normalization of bilateral relations between the Governments of Chad and Sudan held [last] week in Doha,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.
The Secretary-General, in his most recent report on the deployment of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), stated that “the security situation along the Sudan-Chad border continued to be tense and unpredictable” during February and March of this year, the UN News Service adds.
Last week in a briefing to the Security Council, Rodolphe Adada, the Joint African Union-UN Special Representative for Darfur and head of UNAMID, cited the state of relations between Sudan and Chad as an important factor with regard to the ongoing conflict in Darfur.
An estimated 300 000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes in Darfur since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.
Separately Ban has called for the respect of human rights and the rule of law in the Central African Republic (CAR), following reports of deadly attacks by Government troops on civilians in the Ndele region of the country.
“The Secretary-General is concerned about any developments that could undermine the ongoing peace consolidation process in the CAR,” UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York today.
“He views respect for human rights as a critical element for sustainable peace in the CAR. He, therefore, remains concerned about reports of alleged human rights violations in the country.”
Media reports say that CAR troops killed up to 30 civilians in February to deter rebels in the strife-torn and impoverished nation.
Last month the Security Council demanded an end to violence by armed groups terrorizing northern CAR and called for all parties in the country to abide by the results of a recent national dialogue.
The dialogue, held in the capital Bangui from 8 to 20 December 2008, resulted in several agreements, including the establishment of a broad-based government, a commitment to hold municipal, legislative and presidential elections in 2009 and 2010, and the setting up of an independent electoral commission.