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Sudan: Annan welcomes resumption of peace talks

Sudan: Annan welcomes resumption of peace talks

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has welcomed the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) set to open today in Machakos, Kenya.

In a statement released by his spokesman late Friday, Mr. Annan urged both sides to resume in earnest their negotiations, which are being organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The two parties were also called on to build on the progress made in July towards a comprehensive settlement of the conflict "that has brought untold misery to the people of the Sudan and devastation to the country."

The Secretary-General commended the "tireless efforts" of the Kenyan Government in leading the peace initiative, and pledged to keep in touch with the parties and the leaders of the IGAD countries. Mr. Annan's Special Adviser, Mohamed Sahnoun, will represent the Secretary-General at Machakos.

"The Secretary-General reiterates the support of the United Nations to the IGAD effort for the Sudan and stands ready to assist in the implementation of a peace agreement," the spokesman said.