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PRESS RELEASE No. 28
7TH ROUND OF THE INTER-SUDANESE PEACE TALKS ON THE
CONFLICT IN DARFUR
The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security attends
the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks in Abuja
The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Saïd Djinnit yesterday 7 February 2006 arrived in Abuja from AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, to, in his words, extend to the AU Special Envoy, the Mediation Team, the Sudanese Parties and all the other stakeholders in the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks, the support and encouragement of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and to exhort them to redouble their efforts to speedily conclude the Talks.
Ambassador Djinnit who has since held several working sessions with the AU Special Envoy Dr Salim Ahmed Salim and the Mediation Team, today attended a Plenary Session of the Power Sharing Commission chaired by its Coordinator Ambassador Berhanu Dinka, which met to receive the report of the recently established working group on the sharing of power in State Institutions and in the Public Service. Also in attendance were Dr Salim, the entire AU Mediation Team as well as the representatives of the Co-mediators, Facilitators and the International Partners.
The Power Sharing Commission heard the interim reports of the representatives of the Sudanese Government (GoS) and those of the Movements (SLM/A and JEM) in the Working Group on the outcome of their bilateral negotiations. The Parties reported on the points of convergence and the areas of divergence on the question of representation of Darfurians in the Sudanese Civil Service.
While recognizing the complexity of this issue, the Chairman of the Commission commended the Sudanese Parties in the Working Groups and encouraged them to continue their negotiations in the same spirit.
Taking the floor before the end of the meeting, Ambassador Djinnit commended the AU Special Envoy, the Sudanese Parties and the other stakeholders for the efforts being deployed to move the Peace Process forward. He however voiced the disappointment of African leaders and the International Community at the slow pace of the Talks and the “very modest progress” achieved, including the fact that the Sudanese Parties had failed to keep their pledge to reach a comprehensive peace agreement by the end of December 2005.
He, however, observed that some progress had been made in the Power Sharing Commission as well as in the Wealth Sharing and Security Arrangements Commissions. The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security urged the Parties to approach the negotiations with an enhanced spirit of give and take, be more forthcoming and show greater understanding in addressing the concerns of the other Side, with a view to bridging the existing gaps. Ambassador Djinnit, while stressing that “time is not on our side”, called upon the Sudanese Parties to work speedily to achieve a breakthrough before the end of this month.
The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security will on Thursday, 9 February hold separate meetings with the representatives of the Movements, the Government of the Sudan and the International Partners.
Abuja, 8 February 2006
Tel. +234 8065294818