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AU, UN envoys discuss progress of Darfur peace talks

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Mar 4, 2006 (ABUJA) — The African Union Special Envoy for Darfur and Chief Mediator Salim Ahmed Salim, today, discussed the progress of the peace talks with Jan Pronk, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in the Sudan, currently on a visit to Abuja.

Salim Ahmed Salim

During the meeting, both Sides reviewed the progress so far made at the level of the three Commissions, namely: the Wealth Sharing, the Power Sharing and the Security Arrangements Commissions.

They also discussed the deteriorating security situation in Darfur, characterized by continued acts of senseless violence and flagrant violation of the ceasefire. Both emphasized the urgent need for the Sudanese belligerents to immediately stop the ceasefire violations and other acts of violence.

They urged Sudanese government and rebel groups to respect their commitments under previous agreements and demonstrate greater flexibility and seriousness in the on-going negotiations so as to reach a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, thereby bringing to an end the long suffering of the people of Darfur.

The AMIS spokesperson Noureddine Mezni, said in a press statement that Salim and Pronk underlined the need for the Security Arrangements Commission to make substantial progress not only because of the correlation between the outcome of its work with the situation on the ground, but also because of the sensitive and very complex nature of the issues being discussed by the Commission.

The two sides agreed on the urgency of convening a meeting of the Joint Commission, which had not met since October 2005, to enable the Sudanese Parties to examine the gravely deteriorating security situation and assume full responsibility for the repeated ceasefire violations.

Salim, expressed the determination of the AU Mediation to ensure that the present Round of Talks comes to a conclusion as soon as possible within the next few weeks.

(ST)

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