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top UN envoy visits south to consolidate January's peace accords

11/15/2005 7:07pm

14 November 2005 – The senior United Nations envoy in Sudan is in the south of the country for high-level talks with the regional Government of Southern Sudan on the implementation of January's peace agreement, which ended two decades of war between the Sudanese Government and rebels in the area.

During his three-day visit, which began yesterday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, Jan Pronk, is scheduled to meet with Southern Sudanese Vice-President Riek Machar as well as with the Speaker of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly.

Mr. Pronk will also discuss with the commanders of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the former rebel Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) security issues, including the safety of humanitarian workers in the areas where rebels from Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have been reported to be active.

Earlier this month, a humanitarian aid worker was killed near the border with Uganda a week after two workers helping to remove landmines were shot to death in the same area.

Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said the situation in Darfur was reported to be tense due to both inter-tribal and factional fighting in many areas of the western region, where nearly two years of fighting between Government forces, pro-government militias and rebels have killed some 180,000 people and displaced 2 million others.

Fighting between Arab tribes was reported to be continuing in the Geneina area of West Darfur, leading to a number of casualties.

In South Darfur, the situation in Gereida is reported to be tense following an alleged attack by the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on an Arab tribe in Shergeila village on Friday. The African Unity (AU) monitoring mission confirmed 62 casualties amongst the attackers. Some 10,000 people displaced from the village and neighbouring villages are seeking refuge at Gereida.

In North Darfur, there are reports of internal fighting between members of the rebel Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA). UNMIS is closely following the developments which seem to be linked to a political split within the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A).

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