“The United Nations’ humanitarian workers and peacekeepers must have their safety ensured while performing their duties,” said Ambassador Le Luong Minh in response to the UN reports on the attacks on a convoy of UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in Sudan on January 7 and UN peacekeeping soldiers in Lebanon on January 8.
The Ambassador said Viet Nam is deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Darfur with the number of refugees and internally displaced persons having reached alarming levels and attacks on ordinary people continuing to take place commonly.
He affirmed, “Viet Nam supports the UN’ s relief work in Darfur and the deployment of UNAMID force in pursuant to the resolution 1769 adopted on July 31, 2007.”
He added that difficulties in the full deployment of the UNAMID force were of technical nature and stemmed from the lack of security on the ground.
For its smooth deployment and operation, UNAMID needs to balance the process of mobilising troops to ensure the ‘African nature’ of its force, the diplomat said.
On their part, peacekeepers and humanitarian workers, while discharging their duties, must remain neutral by abiding by the law of the host country and the principles of international laws and the UN Charter, Ambassador Minh stressed, adding that these forces’ neutrality must be respected by all parties.
“ Viet Nam will lend its full support to UN and the Sudanese Government in their efforts to work out solutions to address the current difficult situation in the deployment of UNAMID so that the force can effectively undertake the humanitarian mission in Darfur ,” the Vietnamese representative said.
He went on to note that solution to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur is part of the overall political solution to the Darfur issue.
“In this connection, Viet Nam welcomes recent positive development in the political process in Sudan and the Sudanese government’s announcement to unilaterally cease hostilities, and calls on all other parties to follow suit and join hands in seeking a solution for the sake of peace and national unity in Sudan,” Minh concluded.