Ban Ki-moon urges Darfur parties to foster positive climate for peace talks
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today in Libya called on all parties to the conflict in the Sudanese region of Darfur to create a climate conducive to successful peace negotiations to be held next month in Tripoli.
In a statement released in the Libyan capital, where Mr. Ban is wrapping up a three-nation trip that also took him to Sudan and Chad, the Secretary-General set out a series of measures required to address the conflict that has engulfed Darfur since 2003, killing over 200,000 people and driving an additional 2.2 million from their homes.
He urged all parties “to declare their serious commitment to achieve a political solution to the Darfur crisis; to create a security environment in Darfur conducive to negotiations; to participate in and commit to the outcome of the negotiation effort; and to cease all hostilities immediately.”
Mr. Ban further stressed the need for an end to violence and insecurity, a strengthened ceasefire supported by the incoming UN-African Union peacekeeping force, to be known as UNAMID, as well as an improvement in the humanitarian situation and better prospects for development and recovery for the people of Darfur.
The peace negotiations will begin in Libya under the lead of the AU-UN Special Envoys on 27 October. The envoys, Jan Eliasson representing the UN and Salim Ahmed Salim for the AU, “will continue to work in close coordination with the countries of the region and ensure that the concerns of civil society, representatives of internally displaced persons, women's groups and tribal leaders are channeled into the negotiation process,” Mr. Ban said today.
During his visit to Sudan, Chad and Libya, the Secretary-General received “strong endorsement” for the upcoming negotiations, according to the statement.