Sixth Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur
The Last of the Three Workshops Concludes Deliberation in Abuja today, Saturday 24 September 2005, on the Theme of Security Arrangements
The third and last in the series of the Workshops organized by the African Union for the participants in the Sixth Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur, rounded up deliberation in Abuja, today 24 September 2005.
In his Statement this afternoon to mark the official closing of the Session and of the Workshops whose Themes, it would be recalled, were : Power Sharing, Wealth Sharing and Security Arrangements, the African Union Special Envoy for Darfur and Chief Mediator Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim expressed delight at the active participation of all the Sudanese Parties. He pointed out that the various presentations had been of high quality, and that the ensuing deliberations had been very fruitful. The presentations, he further stated, were an invaluable input and should serve as inspiration for all the participants.
Dr. Salim then called on all the delegations to exhibit the same attitude and comportment during the substantive negotiations which would commence in the coming week, and stressed that the solution to the Darfur crisis resided in level-headed and fratenal negotiations conducted in the spirit of flexibillity and compromise, rather than in the spirit of conflict.
Dr. Salim also stated that the ultimate and legitimate objective of the negotiations was to restore peace in Darfur. This, he said, was a challenge that all the stakeholders should take up, bearing in mind Africa’s commitment in the matter and the readiness of the international community to accompany the process of building lasting and sustainable peace in The Sudan.
Earlier, during the morning session, the participants heard a Case Study on Peacekeeping in Northern Ireland presented by Major General Angus Ramsay of the United Kingdom.
After having dwelt at length on the lessons learnt from the history of, and the attempts at resolving the Northern Ireland problem, General Ramsay underscored what he considered as possible internal solution to separatist crisis in any country.
General Ramsay stressed, in this regard, that it was necessary to bring national level initiative, without international community assistance, to bear on the resolution of conflict, such as the one being played out in Darfur. He then suggested that such dedicated efforts could serve as inspiration for the warring parties in The Sudan.
At the afternoon session, General Ramsay made a second presentation on the conflicts in Kosovo and Bosnia in former Yugoslavia, with focus on the successes and failures that were often the halmarks of international community-led peacekeeping operations. He added that while such actions were generally quite expensive, they usually came off with very mixed results.
It should be mentioned that the day’s deliberations were chaired by Mr. Henri de Coignac, the French Special Envoy for the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur.
With the conclusion of the seven-day long Workshops, the Parties will reconvene early next week to commence substantive negotiations on the three items on the Agenda of the Talks.