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PRESS RELEASE NO. 44
7th ROUND OF THE INTER-SUDANESE PEACE TALKS
OF THE CONFLICT IN DARFUR
The Current Chairman of the African Union holds High Level Consultations with the Sudanese Parties and Other Stakeholders in Abuja
The high level consultations on Darfur initiated late yesterday Saturday 8 April 2006, by His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo and Current Chairman of the African Union with the AU Mediation, the Government of the Sudan delegation, the Darfurian Movements (SLM/A and JEM) and the International Partners which continued through the early hours of the morning, came to an end this afternoon Sunday, 9 April 2006.
Present at these consultations held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja were H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; H.E. Ali Ousman Taha, Vice-President of the Republic of The Sudan; Dr Ali Treiki, personal representative of the Leader of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; Ambassador Saïd Djinnit, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security.
At the beginning of the consultations, the AU Special Envoy and Chief Mediator Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, briefed the leaders on current developments in the Talks.
In his statement at the final session of the consultations, President Nguesso pointed out that the initiative had signaled “the urgency that all the stakeholders attach to the need to bring about a negotiated and political solution to the conflict, revealed the magnitude, complexity and sensitivity of the issues involved and underscored the unequivocal acceptance by all the Parties of the need to expeditiously conclude the negotiations. Highlighting the areas of convergence between the Parties such as “the principle of direct negotiation as a means of bridging the gap between them and their agreement to consider and adopt a Draft Ceasefire Agreement in the coming days so as to pave the way for immediate conclusion for a Comprehensive Agreement on issues relating to final security arrangements, President Nguesso said “we have requested the Chief Mediator, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim to expedite the preparation of a comprehensive package on the three calabashes of Power Sharing, Wealth Sharing and Security Arrangements for final consideration by the Parties”.
After expressing gratitude to President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as the International Partners for their continued and active support to the Darfur peace process, the AU Current Chairman urged the Sudanese Parties to move away from their hitherto fixed and maximalist positions, and to muster the necessary political will so as to achieve the much needed breakthrough in the negotiations. He underscored that such an outcome will have to command the acceptance and ownership of the people of Darfur through a broad based and popular consultative mechanism such as the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation as envisaged in the Declaration of Principles (DoP).
Abuja, 9 April 2006
Tel. +234 8065294818