Darfur UNAU envoy holds talks on peace process

26 August 2010The head of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur today held talks with Government officials and diplomats on the peace process under way in the war-torn Sudanese region. UN-African Union Joint Special Representative in Darfur Ibrahim Gambari, along with Sudanese Presidential Advisor Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani, AU High Level Implementation Panel Chairman Thabo Mbeki, and United States Special Envoy for Sudan Scott Gration, took part in today’s meeting in Khartoum.The four men underscored the need for a comprehensive strategy encompassing all aspects – including security, stabilization, development and early recovery – of the Darfur problem.As many as 2.7 million Darfurians live as IDPs or as refugees in neighbouring countries as a result of the seven-year-old conflict in the western region of Sudan that has also resulted in an estimated 300,000 deaths.The officials at today’s meeting agreed that the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), which is headed by Mr. Gambari, and the Sudanese Government will work together closely to improve the security situation in the region and act jointly to promote stability and development.The UN envoy said that he looks forward to cooperation between UNAMID and the Sudanese police and military to enhance security, emphasizing the mission’s commitment to foster early recovery and development.For his part, Mr. Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, underlined the need for the involvement of Darfurians in the peace process, voicing hope that a peace deal will be reached before the end of the year.

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