“Mellit is known for the peaceful coexistence between all tribes. I hope that this reputation will continue well into the future,” said UNAMID’s Head of Office for North Darfur, Hassan Gibril, who led the Mission’s delegation in the talks with community leaders on Tuesday.Disagreements between members of the Ziyadiah and Berti tribes emerged on 15 August, and resulted in violent clashes in which shops were looted and destroyed in Mellit’s main market area. The violence resulted in the deaths of six people and injuries to 12 others.According to an UNAMID news release, Mr. Gibril said he was deeply concerned by the tragic events and offered the Mission’s assistance in mediation and inter-tribal reconciliation activities. “We want to learn from what happened to prevent such incidents in the future,” he said.During the meeting with the UNAMID delegation, the local chief of the Abassi camp for internally displaced persons, Adam Abdurahim Kharif, said that residents fear attacks similar to the one that happened in the Kassab camp, which earlier this month was surrounded by armed men who looted its market and burnt down the police post located within, killing four people. The security and humanitarian situations in the camp have deteriorated since then, according to the Mission.Mr. Kharuf also asked for more protection from UNAMID to prevent similar events from occurring in Mellit.The Mission noted that Mellit’s local commissioner said that the events last week were a series of isolated incidents that have been resolved through goodwill, while the deputy leader of the Ziyadiah tribe said that members of the community moved quickly to contain the situation and now are working together to find a peaceful remedy. The leader of the Berti tribe said that, in general, the culture of the area values peace and the people are not troublemakers.Deployed at the beginning of 2008, UNAMID is tasked with protecting civilians, promoting an inclusive peace process and helping ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance across Darfur, an arid region on Sudan’s western flank. read more


first_imgThe World Gold Council’s latest Gold Investment Digest publication says ongoing risk aversion, growing uncertainty over where consumer prices are headed and a renewed vigour in the search for effective portfolio diversifiers all supported gold investment demand throughout the first quarter of 2009. For the first quarter 2009, the gold price ended at $916.50/oz, on the London PM fix, representing a moderate increase of 4%, contrasted against a 12% decline in US stock prices during the period. Inflows into gold ETFs continued to grow throughout the quarter, with investors buying a record 469 t of gold, dwarfing the previous quarterly record of 145 t, set in the third quarter of last year. This took the total amount of gold in ETFs to 1,658 t, worth $48.6 billion.  “One reason the financial crisis has been so devastating for investors is that many alternative assets did not deliver on the promise that they would provide portfolio diversification,” said Natalie Dempster, Head of Investment, North America for, marketing organisation, World Gold Council and author of the publication. “The same cannot be said for gold. Gold has been one of the few assets that has genuinely provided investors with diversification throughout the financial crisis.”Reports from coin and bar dealers acknowledge another very strong quarter in retail demand for coins and bars in Q1 09, after a 396% year-on-year increase in Q4 08. Dealers have continued to report shortages in the availability of official coins and small bars.During the quarter average gold price volatility softened to 29.2%, on a 22-day rolling basis, in Q1 09, from 44.8% in the final quarter of last year. Having eased slightly over the quarter, the volatility still remained well above gold’s long-run price volatility of around 13%. Continued uncertainty over the health of the world’s financial sector and broader economy, alongside aggressive monetary and fiscal policy moves from the world’s leading central banks and major governments kept market volatility high across the board. For example, the volatility of the S&P500, also measured on a 22-day rolling basis, ended Q1 09 at 49%.Looking at the broader economic backdrop, the publication said: “Commentators expressed two distinct views with respect to where consumer prices are headed. One sees inflation coming, as a consequence of the staggering increase in public spending and the quantitative easing measures being put in place by central banks around the globe. The other view argues that deflation is the more likely prospect, pointing to recent inflation figures – US consumer prices were unchanged on an annual basis in January for the first time since 1954 – and the continued deterioration in consumer confidence and spending. Both scenarios have possible positive implications for gold.”“Gold is not just effective during a financial crisis. The unique and diverse drivers of gold demand and supply mean that changes in the gold price do not correlate with changes in the prices of other financial assets, regardless of the health of the financial sector or broader economy,” Dempster said. “Gold is an effective portfolio diversifier regardless of the stage of the economic cycle.”Gold Investment Digest can be downloaded at http://www.gold.org/last_img read more