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PRESS RELEASE NO. 11
7th ROUND OF THE INTER-SUDANESE PEACE TALKS ON THE
CONFLICT IN DARFUR
AU Special Envoy Announces Christmas/Eid Recess
In his continued consultations with all the concerned Parties to the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks, the AU Special Envoy for Darfur and Chief Mediator Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, yesterday, Tuesday 20 December 2005, held a briefing session with the representatives of the Co-Mediators, Facilitators and the International Partners to update them on the status of the Peace Talks.
In his statement on the occasion, Dr. Salim voiced satisfaction at the Parties’ expressed readiness to pursue the negotiations, adding that the AU Mediation was determined to press ahead with the Talks until an agreement was reached.
Referring to the Sudanese Parties’ earlier commitment to make the present Round final and decisive, Dr. Salim called on them to make good their word, and to continue to engage in direct dialogue both within and outside the respective Commissions so as to achieve the ultimate objective.
On this score, the AU Special Envoy welcomed the positive atmosphere currently prevailing in the Talks, especially in the Wealth Sharing Commission and, recently, the Power Sharing Commission, indicating that the AU Mediation would continue to build trust and confidence among the Parties and encourage them in their search for peace in Darfur.
Commenting on his earlier meetings with delegations of women which included women from the Sudanese Parties as well as a number of women activists involved in the search for peace, Dr. Salim expressed serious concern at the worsening plight of women and children in Darfur while, at the same time, welcoming the readiness of the women of the Sudan – from both the Government side and the Movements to work towards peace and security for all.
In this context, the AU Special Envoy urged members of the Commission on Security Arrangements not to use consultations as a pretext for non-action; but rather to finalize their Agenda as quickly as possible, and thus commence substantive negotiations.
Dr. Salim then announced his decision for the negotiations to proceed without suspension, with a three-day recess for Christmas from 24 to 26 December, similar three days for the Moslem Eid coming up early in January 2006 in the event that by then the Talks have not been concluded. Informal meetings and consultations would however continue during both recess periods.
After the briefing, the International Partners expressed their support for Dr. Salim’s assessment of the overall situation, and pledged their continued commitment to work alongside the African Union Mediation to move the Talks forward.
Abuja, 21 December 2005
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