[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 20:13 GMT
Darfur 'close to anarchy' says UN
Members of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement in Darfur, Sudan
Mr Pronk says the situation on the ground is "alarming"
The United Nations envoy to Sudan has warned that Sudan's Darfur region is heading towards anarchy due to increasing violence.

"If this negative trend is not reversed it is a recipe for disaster," Jan Pronk told the Security Council, which has met to consider his report.

Mr Pronk called for a fast deployment of the newly-expanded African Union peacekeeping mission.

Some 1.6 million people have fled their homes since the conflict began.

Pro-government Janjaweed militias are accused of driving the region's black Africans from their villages, since two rebel groups began an uprising in February 2003.

The US describes the attacks in Darfur as genocide.

Aid agencies evacuating

The Security Council adopted a resolution in September which threatened oil sanctions against Sudan if it did not reign in the militias.

But Mr Pronk says the government is not in control of its forces and fighting is breaking out in "more and more places".

"Governmental authorities are not able to exert a moderating influence, or they respond with untimely and even counter-productive measures," he said.

UN envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk
Darfur may easily enter a state of anarchy - a total collapse of law and order
UN envoy Jan Pronk
But Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustapha Osman Ismail lays the blame for the insecurity on the rebels, who, he says, increase their attacks ahead of Security Council meetings.

"I think the situation in Darfur generally is not that bad. It could be even better if the rebels were not insisting on violating the ceasefire," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

Aid agencies in south Darfur have evacuated some areas as clashes between rebels and the government continue.

In the west, thousands of Arab militias are reported to be mobilising to launch an attack on rebel positions, where rebels took 18 Arab hostage last month.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday that the Security Council "may wish to consider creative and prompt action to ensure effective implementation of the demands set out in it earlier resolutions".

The US ambassador to the UN, John Danforth, has said does not expect sanctions to be implemented.

Menacing

Earlier this week, the UN criticised the forced removal of a number of refugees from a camps in Darfur. Mr Pronk said it was a "flagrant violation of international humanitarian law".

Khartoum defended the relocation, saying conditions in the camp were not good enough.

Women in northern Darfur, Sudan watch AU peacekeeping troops

The community leader of families moved from El Geer camp near Nyala told the BBC he feared they would be forced to return to their village, something the government insisted would not happen.

The UN report warns that without more action being taken against the perpetrators of the violence, displaced people will not go home.

It calls on the rebels and government delegations meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja to show a "sense of urgency" in their efforts to secure a peace deal.

African Union (AU) negotiators have said that they are hopeful that all parties will soon sign an agreement they have drawn up to resolve the 20-month conflict.

A 3,000-strong AU force to monitor the ceasefire is due to be in place by the end of November.

The Security Council, is due to meet in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi on 17-18 November, to discuss Darfur.




RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific