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United Nations solicits efforts to promote peace in Sudan

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The joint representative of the UN and the AU for Darfur in Sudan on Wednesday called for international efforts to carry forward the Darfur peace process beginning with cease-fire agreements.

The Head of the UN/AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Jeremiah Mamabolo, told the UN Security Council in a news conference on Wednesday.

“The stalemate in the Darfur peace process persists in spite our numerous efforts … to persuade the parties to the conflict to sign cessation of hostilities agreements and commence direct negotiations,’’ Mamabolo said.

The framework for the negotiations continues to be the main issue of contention, he said via video teleconference from Al-Fashir, Darfur in western Sudan.

Mamabolo called on Security Council members to use bilateral channels to exhort the parties to the Darfur conflict to sign cease-fire accords, including efforts to “prevail upon” rebel leader, Abdul Wahid to acknowledge the futility of war and to join the peace process.

“That would be the only way the people of Darfur, and indeed the international community, could have any realistic hope for the achievement of durable peace in Darfur,” he said.

He reported that there was general absence of war in Darfur. But in some areas, intra- and inter-communal clashes persist albeit at a relatively reduced scale.

In spite the relative stability, many of the 2.7 million internally displaced persons are not able to return to their areas of origin due to insecurity and land occupation issues, he said.

The UN/AU mission in Darfur is undertaking a second-phase reconfiguration, which entails a further reduction in the number of military personnel from 11,395 to 8,735, police from 2,888 to 2,500, and civilian staff from 2,918 to 2,760, said Mamabolo.

The war in Darfu began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement rebel groups started fighting the government of Sudan for oppressing Darfur’s non-Arab population.

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