Top UN-African Union envoy meets Darfur rebel leader

11 June 2009

The head of the joint United Nations–African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has reiterated that there is no military solution to the problems facing the strife-torn Sudanese region, as he met with the leader of a major rebel group.

Yesterday’s meeting in North Darfur between Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada and the Chairman of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Khalil Ibrahim, was the second of its kind this year and part of a “continued effort to establish a good working relationship with all parties involved in the Darfur conflict,” the mission said in a news release.

Mr. Adada once again urged that all efforts should focus on boosting the ongoing negotiations in Doha, Qatar, noting that “the problems that Sudan is facing now have no military solution.”

He added that UNAMID has been monitoring “with great concern” the recent fighting between JEM on the one hand and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan Liberation Army –Minni Minawi faction (SLA/Minni) on the other. UNAMID helped provide medical care for the wounded combatants from both sides.

Mr. Adada renewed his appeal to JEM and all negotiating parties in Doha to commit to a cessation of hostilities as soon as possible, the mission said.

UNAMID added that Mr. Ibrahim expressed JEM’s readiness for a cessation of hostilities in the context of a framework agreement and pledged to contribute to the improvement of the humanitarian situation and protection of civilians until a comprehensive peace agreement is reached.

Mr. Adada and Mr. Ibrahim agreed on a mechanism to improve communication and contacts between UNAMID and JEM, the mission said.

The Security Council established UNAMID in 2007 to protect civilians in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million forced from their homes since violence erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and their allied Janjaweed militiamen.

 

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