UN: Darfur peace in 'crucial phase'

Updated: 2011-04-21 08:48


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UNITED NATIONS - The peace process concerning the status of the war-ravaged Sudanese region of Darfur has entered a "crucial phase," as the Sudanese government and two rebel groups remain "fully engaged" in negotiations in Doha, Qatar, a UN official said here Wednesday.

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The statement came as Atul Khare, UN assistant secretary- general for peacekeeping operations, briefed the UN Security Council on the situation in Darfur and on the hybrid UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in the region (UNAMID).

Peace mediators are preparing to submit a draft peace agreement to the government of Sudan, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) for their final consideration next week, said Khare.

The three parties have been involved in peace negotiations in Doha since January, but have struggled to achieve a lasting agreement on issues involving wealth sharing, power sharing, refugees and internally displaced persons, justice and reconciliation, human rights, and security arrangements for the region.

The Sudanese government recently issued a presidential decree for the conduct of a referendum on Darfur's administrative status that temporarily prompted the JEM to halt direct negotiations with Khartoum.

Khare urged all parties to work together to exchange views on all provisions of a comprehensive peace agreement.

"We appreciate the full support of the international community for the mediation, including its interventions with the parties to press on them the need to use this opportunity for a comprehensive peace," he said.


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