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Darfur: UN envoy arrives in Khartoum for talks with Sudanese officials

Darfur: UN envoy arrives in Khartoum for talks with Sudanese officials

Jan Eliasson
The United Nations senior envoy for Darfur has arrived in Khartoum from the Libyan capital Tripoli, where he co-chaired two days of talks on fostering a settlement in the strife-torn region of Sudan.

During his three-day visit, Jan Eliasson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for Darfur, will meet with senior Government officials in Khartoum, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe said today in New York.

Mr. Eliasson will also meet with representatives of internally displaced persons and civil society groups, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as local authorities in Darfur.

An international meeting was held in Tripoli on 15 and 16 July to assess the progress 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.

Participants at the meeting adopted a communiqué reconfirming the African Union (AU) -UN leadership of the political process in partnership with regional actors,” Ms. Okabe stated.

The meeting marked the conclusion of the first phase of the joint UN-AU road map for the Darfur peace process, which calls on all parties to cease hostilities and prepare for forthcoming negotiations. It also launched the second – or pre-negotiation – phase, which involves “shuttle diplomacy” to both the Government in the capital Khartoum and to non-signatories to last year’s Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA).

Participants endorsed the proposal of the two envoys to convene a meeting from 3 to 5 August in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, with “leading personalities” of the non-signatory movements with a view to holding a first round of negotiations before the end of August.

They also agreed that invitations for the new round of negotiations should be issued by the AU Chairperson and the UN Secretary-General, before the end of August 2007.

Convened by the UN and the AU, the Tripoli meeting was also attended by officials from Sudan, Canada, Chad, China, Egypt, Eritrea, France, Italy, Libya, the Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States, the European Union and the League of Arab States.