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Annan urges Sudanese Government and rebels to resume peace talks

Annan urges Sudanese Government and rebels to resume peace talks

Reacting with concern to the suspension of a second round of peace talks between the Government of Sudan and rebel forces, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged both sides to resume negotiations aimed at ending the country's long-running war.

In a statement released by his spokesman, Mr. Annan called on the Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) "to build upon the progress made toward bringing an end to devastating conflict in the Sudan which has caused untold suffering to its people."

The talks had opened on 12 August in Machakos, Kenya, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The Secretary-General voiced gratitude for Kenya's efforts in leading the peace initiative and to other countries as well as IGAD for their contribution. "He encourages them to continue their efforts to help the parties reach a comprehensive agreement that will usher in a new and promising era for all the people of Sudan," spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York.

The UN continues to support the IGAD peace process for Sudan and stands ready to contribute to the efforts of the international community to help implement a peace agreement concluded by the Sudanese parties, according to the statement.