U.N. representative calls for common vision in Darfur

Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the African Union-U.N. joint special representative for Darfur, said on Wednesday that more work was needed to craft a peace and reduce casualty numbers in Darfur, Sudan.

Chambas made his remarks during a U.N. Security Council meeting shortly after the fourth attack against U.N. peacekeepers in recent months and in the midst of an uptick in violence in Darfur. The attack on July 13 resulted in the deaths of seven Tanzanian peacekeepers and the wounding of 17 others.

Chambas said that fighting between the government of Sudan and non-signatory movements, in addition to inter-ethnic violence throughout Darfur, led to loss of life, socioeconomic dislocation and protracted displacement. He said that the African Union-U.N. Hybrid Operation in Darfur strongly encouraged all involved parties in the inter-ethnic conflicts to enter into a dialogue in an effort to determine the root causes of the attacks and develop a common vision for a peaceful resolution.

The Darfur conflict first broke out a decade ago.

"As we enter the tenth year in the conflict in Darfur, it is evident that the only solution to the conflict will be a political one," Chambas said.

Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, Sudan's ambassador to the U.N., condemned the attacks on UNAMID and emphasized the need to bring the perpetrators to justice. Osman said the Sudanese government and UNAMID must coordinate more closely on Darfur.