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Sudan and UN launch post-war development programme

9/5/2005 8:00am

Sept 4, 2005 (Khartoum) — The Sudanese government and the United Nations on Sunday launched an ambitious development programme, saying the country had an historic opportunity to emerge from decades of war and famine.

A January peace agreement has ended a 21-year north-south civil war that left two million dead and four million displaced, but Africa’s largest country remains torn by conflict in the western Darfur region and other areas.

Sudan "can now direct its resources to improving the country’s economic and social conditions, focusing on combating poverty," President Omar al-Beshir said.

He was speaking at the launch of a joint report drafted by the ministry of international cooperation and the United Nations Development Programme which outlined steps towards achieving the world body’s "millennium goals".

UN humanitarian coordinator Manuel Aranda Da Silva said Sudan was at a crossroads following the north-south peace deal and the prospect of a solution to the 30-month-old Darfur conflict.

"The economic dividends of peace could be great in such a rich country," he said at the ceremony.

Sudan "more than any prior time in its history, can now invest in development. Sudanese society has 10 more years left to win a national war against hunger, diseases, illiteracy and other obstacles to a decent life that every Sudanese deserves," he said.


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