At a press briefing today, Robert Wood, the Acting Department of State Spokesman was asked for a reaction to the attacks today, by Sudanese government forces against rebel forces in Muhajaria, Darfur.
At the time of the question, Wood did not know about the attacks that happened today. He said “Well, obviously, we would condemn any attacks against the people of Darfur. It’s a horrible situation on the ground there. I need to … see what more has happened since this morning. I wasn’t aware that those attacks had taken place. And we’ll try to get you some more on that.”
After the press briefing the State Department responded with the following statement:
“The United States condemns the January 15 attack by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the subsequent military offensive carried out by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Muhajaria, South Darfur.
JEM should withdraw from the area and both JEM and the Government of Sudan (GOS) should immediately cease hostilities, as they are endangering the lives of civilians and violating the Darfur Peace Agreement, the GOS-initiated ceasefire, and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Darfur.
We urge all parties and armed groups based in both Sudan and Chad to exercise restraint and not resort to violence. JEM, GOS and all parties to the conflict must respect the operation of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to protect civilians at risk, as established by its UNSC mandate.
Finally, we reiterate our demand that all parties immediately commit to the peace process under the leadership of Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Yipene Bassole.”