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UN envoy on Darfur peace process holds consultations before key meeting

UN envoy on Darfur peace process holds consultations before key meeting

Jan Eliasson
The United Nations envoy tasked with re-energizing the peace process in Darfur is holding talks today in Asmara, the Eritrean capital, ahead of a key meeting to assess recent progress towards finding peace in the war-torn Sudanese region.

Jan Eliasson, the UN Special Envoy for Darfur, is having consultations with Darfur rebel groups and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters.

Then Mr. Eliasson heads to Tripoli, Libya, for a two-day meeting starting on Sunday that he will be jointly chairing with his African Union counterpart Salim Ahmed Salim.

The Tripoli gathering has been convened to take stock of the progress made over the past months towards holding peace talks in Darfur, where more than 200,000 people have been killed and at least 2 million others displaced from their homes amid brutal fighting since 2003.

The meeting will focus on the roadmap, the joint plan of the UN and the AU to solve the conflict between the Government, allied Janjaweed militias and Darfur’s many rebel groups. Negotiations between the warring parties mark the roadmap’s third phase.

Ms. Okabe said invitations to the Tripoli meeting have been sent to representatives of Sudan, Chad, Egypt, the Arab League, the Security Council’s five permanent members and key donors, including Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and the European Union.