UN calls for inquiry into Darfur protest deaths

Two people were killed and nine people were wounded during a demonstration.

New York: UN leader Ban Ki-moon called for a "full investigation" into clashes between Darfur protesters and Sudanese forces during a peace mission by a UN envoy and a Qatar minister, a spokesman said.

Gunfire erupted at the demonstration at Zalingei, West Darfur, the UN mission in Sudan said, and authorities announced later that two people were killed and nine people were wounded.

"The secretary general deeply regrets the loss of life and calls for a full investigation to ascertain the facts," a UN spokesman said in a statement.

Ban stressed that all sides in the Darfur conflict "must be able to express their views freely," added the statement.

Djibril Bassole, the UN-African Union chief peace negotiator for Darfur and Qatar`s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmad bin Abdullah al-Mahmud had been at the University of Zalingei, which is considered a rebel stronghold, when the unrest broke out.

Qatar has been seeking to broker peace talks to end the conflict, which the UN estimates has left at least 300,000 dead in the western region since 2003.

"The secretary general calls on the government and all armed movements to fully engage in the Doha negotiations and to demonstrate their willingness to make real compromises" to advance peace, said the UN statement.

Bureau Report

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