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Joint UN, African Union mediator hails pact between Government, Darfur rebels

Joint UN, African Union mediator hails pact between Government, Darfur rebels

Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé
The Joint African Union-United Nations Chief Mediator tasked with resolving the conflict in Darfur has congratulated the Sudanese Government and a key rebel group for making strides in the process to bring peace to the war-ravaged Darfur region.

Yesterday, representatives of the Sudanese Government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), meeting for the first time in two years, signed the “Agreement of Good Will and Confidence Building for the Settlement of the Problem in Darfur” in Doha, Qatar.

In a statement, Joint Chief Mediator Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé underlined “that it is now essential that both parties respect and implement this agreement to thereby crate propitious conditions for a peaceful and rapid resolution of this conflict.”

He stressed that inclusive dialogue is essential for a durable peace, adding that he will continue his talks with all parties to ensure broad participation in ending hostilities.

Noting that the “essential part of the process remains ahead,” Mr. Bassolé also said yesterday that it is crucial to reach a “global, comprehensive and inclusive peace accord that will bring lasting peace to Darfur and end the suffering of its population.”

More than six years of fighting between the Government, allied militia and rebel groups have led to over 300,000 deaths and uprooted over 2.7 million people in Darfur.

The Joint Chief mediator called on Qatar and regional partners to contribute humanitarian relief in the short-term as well as to the reconstruction of the region once a peace pact has been reached.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Government-JEM agreement, calling it a “constructive step in the ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful conclusion to this long-running conflict.”

He also underscored “that until the parties renounce hostilities, the situation in Darfur cannot improve,” according to a statement issued yesterday by his spokesperson.