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Sudan Tribune

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Japan reaffirms financial support to Sudan’s Darfur

May 10, 2006 (NEW YORK) — Japan’s Senior Vice Foreign Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki reaffirmed Tokyo’s commitment to providing financial support for resolving the Darfur conflict in western Sudan in a speech to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday.

According to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, Shiozaki expressed hope that the Abuja peace agreement adopted Friday could be implemented as soon as possible “with the strong commitment of the parties” and urged the two remaining rebel groups to also sign on to the agreement.

Tokyo is ready to study a plan to deploy UN peacekeeping forces to Darfur to assist the 7,000 African Union troops already stationed in the region, Shiozaki said, and to support “its deployment as appropriate.”

Shiozaki also stressed the need for humanitarian assistance in the region, saying “improvement of the humanitarian situation in Darfur is an immediate challenge for the international community.”

He said the Sudanese government’s cooperation in “facilitating humanitarian activities” and funding for such activities was “indispensable.”

In addition to Shiozaki, ministerial-level officials from the permanent five members of the Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan were also present at a special meeting of the Security Council.

“There is a vast amount to be done, and no time to lose,” Annan said at the meeting. He has called the Darfur conflict, in which at least 180,000 have been killed and two million more made homeless in the last three years, “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

(ST)

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