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The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Barbara Woodward (United Kingdom):

The members of the Security Council condemned the recent violence in West Darfur, Sudan, which has resulted in the killing and injury of civilians, mass displacement and attacks on health-care facilities.  The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.

The members of the Security Council called for the immediate cessation of violence, including intercommunal violence and attacks on health-care facilities, to enable the resumption of humanitarian assistance.  They called for a transparent investigation of violence in Darfur to ensure those responsible for the violence are held accountable.

The members of the Security Council recognized the efforts undertaken by the Sovereignty Council to address the situation, including the outcomes of the meeting of the National Security and Defence Council and the commitment to conduct an investigation.  They reaffirmed the primary responsibility of State authorities to protect civilians and reiterated the international legal obligation of the authorities and armed groups to protect all civilians and civilian infrastructure.

The members of the Security Council further called for the accelerated implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, including deployment of the Joint Security Keeping Force, and of the National Action Plan for Civilian Protection.  They took note that the Juba Peace Agreement provides for a specific role for the United Nations in supporting the implementation of its provisions.  The members of the Security Council acknowledged the importance of strengthening international community support for the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, including through the support provided by the United Nations.

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