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PRESS RELEASE NO. 43
7th ROUND OF THE INTER-SUDANESE PEACE TALKS
OF THE CONFLICT IN DARFUR
The African Union Mediation Presents a Revised “Enhanced Ceasefire Agreement fcr Darfur” to the Sudanese Parties
The Head of the AU Mediation Team, Ambassador Sam B. Ibok today Thursday, 6 April 2006, chaired a Plenary Session of the Security Arrangements Commission at which he presented to the Sudanese Parties the Draft “Enhanced Ceasefire Agreement for Darfur” - the outcome of intensive consultations on the document on the same subject previously submitted to the Parties on 12 March 2006.
Present at the meeting, apart from the Representatives of Sudanese Parties (GoS, SLM/A and JEM), were General Chris Garuba, Coordinator of the Security Arrangements Commission, the Force Commander of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS), Major-General Collins Remmy Umunakwe Ihekire as well as the Representatives of the International Partners.
Introducing the Document, Ambassador Ibok indicated that the “Enhanced Ceasefire Agreement for Darfur” unambiguously reflects the demands and concerns expressed by the Parties on the previous Document, effectively addresses the grey areas in the N’Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement of 8 April, 2004, and strengthens its implementation mechanisms. The Document is the result of carefully balanced and dedicated consultations with the International Partners including the United Nations and relevant humanitarian stakeholders inside and outside Sudan, emphasized Ambassador Ibok, who further stated that it would create the confidence necessary for the Parties to move on to tackle the outstanding important issues such as DDR and the final status of the forces, thus paving the way for the conclusion of a comprehensive ceasefire agreement.
Ambassador Ibok announced that another Plenary would be convened on Sunday 9 April 2006 to consider the Document and that, by the middle of the present month, the AU Mediation would table a package of proposals on the three Commissions (Power and Wealth Sharing as well as the Security Arrangements Commissions). While underscoring that it was now time for decisions, he enjoined the Parties to waste no time in looking into the Document so that it can be finalized during Sunday’s Plenary.
In reaction to the presentation, the Representatives of the International Community (UN, USA, EU, The Netherlands, The League of Arab States, Chad, Libya and Nigeria) which took the floor commended the AU Mediation for the efforts it has invested in the Revised Document which, they affirmed, would enable the Parties to proceed with negotiations on the outstanding sensitive issues. The United Nations Representative, in particular, while describing the Agreement as constructive and good compromise, said his Organization would continue to work closely with the AU to finalize the Darfur Ceasefire Agreement. The United States Representative, in turn, underscored his country’s support to AU and described the Document as “a giant step” towards definitive peace in Darfur. The EU, for its part, described the Document as the best possible compromise; while the League Arab States representative saw it as a solid foundation for a comprehensive ceasefire agreement. The JEM Acting Chief Negotiator pledged to carefully look into the Document, and expressed appreciation for the work done by AMIS on the ground.
It may be noted that the “Enhanced Ceasefire Agreement for Darfur” entails a series of steps and movements on the ground all of which the AU Mediation expects will pave the way for a final comprehensive ceasefire agreement.
Abuja, 6 April 2006
Tel. +234 8065294818
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