Historical archive

Norway seriously concerned about the situation in Darfur

Historical archive

Published under: Bondevik's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norway is extremely concerned about the further deterioration of the already dramatic humanitarian situation in Darfur province in western Sudan in the last few days, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen (04.02.04)

Press release

No.: 9/04
Date: 04.02.2004

Norway seriously concerned about the situation in Darfur

"Norway is extremely concerned about the further deterioration of the already dramatic humanitarian situation in Darfur province in western Sudan in the last few days. Norway deplores the recent bombing of the town of Tine, which continues the pattern of indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and the serious breaches of human rights that are constantly being reported," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen.

Norway has discussed the situation in Darfur with the Sudanese authorities on several occasions, and has also raised the issue with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Norway also took part in talks on possible measures to alleviate the situation in Geneva last week. In addition to Norway, the talks were attended by other like-minded countries and UN agencies.

"Norway urges the parties to the conflict to enter into an immediate ceasefire, provide unimpeded humanitarian access to the population and comply with international humanitarian law. We also call on the parties to agree on independent monitoring of an agreement on cessation of hostilities," said Mr Petersen.

"Norway will together with other donors do what is necessary to provide humanitarian relief and protection for the population of Darfur, and has urgently requested the UN to take a leading role in these efforts. We also urge the parties to find a solution to the conflict at the negotiating table. Since September 2003, Norway has contributed NOK 23 million to humanitarian efforts in Darfur," concluded Mr Petersen.

Notes for editors

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 20 000 refugees have fled to Chad in the last two weeks, and about 30 000 crossed the border in December last year. There are now more than 100 000 refugees from Darfur in Chad. The conflict is believed to be affecting a further one million people in the province, of whom about 600 000 are internally displaced. Humanitarian organisations only have access to a very limited proportion of these people. There are reports of famine in several areas, and there is reason to fear serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation.