The AU Mediation Team conducts consultations
in Khartoum with the First Vice President
The AU Mediation Team on Darfur, led by Ambassador Sam Ibok and comprising of Mr. Boubou Niang, Political Advisor to the Special Envoy for Darfur and Dr. Dawit Toga, Political Analyst at the Conflict Management Division, held consultations with Mr. Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, First Vice President of the Sudan, on 26 April 2005, on ways and means of rapidly resuming the Abuja Peace Talks. The Team was accompanied by Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, Special Representative of the AU Chairperson for the Sudan, and Head of the African Mission in the Sudan (AMIS).
The AU Team had earlier met with Dr. Magzoub Al Khalifa, Minister of Agriculture and Head of the Sudanese delegation to the Abuja Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks.
The current consultations are being undertaken as a follow-up to the first round of discussions held at the end of February 2005, with all the Sudanese Parties to the conflict in Darfur.
The AU Team briefed the Sudanese officials about the preparations being made by the AU to create an environment conducive to the resumption of the political negotiations.
The First Vice President reaffirmed his Government’s commitment and readiness to go back to Abuja in order to reach a comprehensive agreement to the conflict in Darfur.
First Vice President Taha also assured the Team that the concerned Government officials are working on the Draft Framework Protocol for the resolution of the conflict in Darfur that was earlier submitted by the Mediation Team to the Sudanese Parties and will communicate its comments and observations after the Team would have met the other parties to the talks.
In the course of the discussions, issues relating to the date, format and duration of the Talks were thoroughly reviewed.
It was agreed that the exact dates for the resumption of the talks would be announced at the end of the current consultations.
After Khartoum, the Team will continue its consultations on the same issues with the Sudanese Movements, namely, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the interested parties.
Khartoum, 26 April 2005.