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continues meetings on Darfur peace process
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Nov 29, 2006 - 6:50:00 AM








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Press Release


AU Special Envoy continues meetings on Darfur peace process


The Special Envoy of the AU Chairperson Professor Alpha Konare, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim is in the Sudan on an exploratory week-long mission during which he was to undertake a broad range of consultations aimed at seeking ways and means to widen support for the Darfur Peace Agreement and make the peace process all inclusive.


Dr. Salimís visit comes in the aftermath of the last New York Summit of the AU Peace and Security Council of 20 September as well as the high level consultations on the Darfur crisis in Addis Ababa recently co-chaired by Professor Konare and the UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan where the concerned parties, among other things, agreed on re-energizing the political process and to undertake wide consultations aimed at convening a meeting for non-signatories, the GoS and the SLA/Minni Minawi faction.


The AU Special Envoy has since his arrival in Khartoum on 27 November, 2006, held meetings with President Al Bashir, the Senior Assistant to the President and President of the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority Minni Minawi, the Presidential Advisor in-charge of the Darfur file, Dr. Majzoub  Al Khalifa, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Lam Akol, the UNMIS Officer-in-Charge Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the EU Resident Representative for the Sudan Pekka Haavisto as well as the Chairman of the Evaluation and Assessment Commission (EAC) Tom Vraalsen.


During these meetings, Dr. Salim focused, inter alia, on the way forward regarding the DPA and emphasized the urgent need to address some of the concerns expressed by non-signatories and bring them on board. In this connection, he noted that the African Union has an obligation and a responsibility to do everything possible to work towards this end.

He described the meeting with President Al Bashir as constructive adding that he will meet him again at the end of the visit.


He observed that there is no military solution to the Darfur conflict, adding that the African Union and its Partners should continue to encourage dialogue among the parties and endeavor to prevent the proliferation of initiatives which should be streamlined and placed under a unified AU/UN umbrella to guard against forum shopping as was agreed upon during the Addis Ababa high level consultations.


He said that the meeting with Mini Minawi was characterized by useful inputs and analyses, affirming that it was also informative and signified a determination to boost the DPA process.


On the Chad/ Sudan issue, Dr. Salim recalled that he raised the matter with President Al Bashir and added the African Union continues to play its role of encouraging the two countries to normalize relations and create conditions for confidence building measures to put an end to this crisis that is impacting on Darfur as well, adding that security and stability on their common border would be in their interest.


At the meetings with the African Group and International Partners held separately at AMIS headquarters on 29 November, Dr. Salim briefed them on the nature and content of his current mission and solicited their own input in view of the fact that they are on the ground. The two encounters were attended by Mr. Germain Baricako representing the Acting Head of Mission Madam Monique Mukaruliza presently in Abuja to attend the AU Peace and Security Council Summit, Mr. Abdul Mohammad, the Chairman of the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation Preparatory Conference, Ambassador Boubou Niang the Deputy Head of the DPA Implementation Team, Ambassador Christopher Liundi the Political Advisor to Dr. Salim, as well as senior personnel of AMIS headquarters.


29 November, 2006, Khartoum


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