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Annan’s envoy has ‘good’ talks with Sudanese President on way forward in Darfur

Annan’s envoy has ‘good’ talks with Sudanese President on way forward in Darfur

SRSG Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah
A senior United Nations envoy had a “good” meeting today with Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir, handing him letter from Secretary-General Kofi Annan detailing ways to move forward on a proposed UN-African Union (AU) hybrid mission to end the devastating conflict in the country’s Darfur region.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, whom Mr. Annan sent to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, also met with Foreign Minister Lam Akol.

“The meetings he had with the president were good but we’re obviously waiting for a written response from President Bashir and he has told us that response will be coming shortly,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a news briefing in New York.

At a High-Level meeting on Darfur in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last month the UN, the AU and Sudan agreed that the UN would provide extra support to the current AU peacekeeping mission (AMIS) as part of a three-phase process culminating in AMIS becoming a hybrid UN-AU mission. The hybrid force is expected to have 17,000 troops and 3,000 police officers, compared to the current AMIS strength of 7,000.

More than 200,000 people have been killed and 2 over million others uprooted since fighting first erupted between Government forces, allied militias and rebel groups seeking greater autonomy and development. The UN estimates that 4 million people now depend on humanitarian aid as a result of the Darfur conflict, which officials have called the world’s worst current humanitarian crisis.