A permanent ceasefire and lasting peace in Darfur is an achievable goal, the top United Nations-African Union official in the troubled Sudanese region stressed today, urging all sides to the conflict to build on a recent peace agreement between the Government and one of the rebel groups.
Ibrahim Gambari, the head of the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) and the Joint Chief Mediator ad interim for the region, told a meeting in Doha, Qatar, that the recent agreement "debunks the widely held view that the conflict in Darfur is intractable and defies solutions."
On 14 July the Sudanese Government - which has been fighting rebel groups in Darfur since 2003 - signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).
Mr. Gambari told the inaugural meeting of implementation follow-up committee of the DDPD that the agreement must now be implemented quickly and faithfully.
"In doing so, it would serve as a litmus test for the viability of comprehensive and inclusive peace in Darfur," he said.
Mr. Gambari also said he hoped the deal would encourage other rebel groups and armed movements to join in the Darfur peace process.
"Timely and faithful implementation of the provisions of the DDPD would also open up the visa for several early recovery and development projects and reconciliation initiatives which would address the root causes of the conflict and ensure the attainment of lasting peace and stability in Darfur."
The implementation follow-up committee includes representatives of the UN, UNAMID, the AU, the Sudanese Government, armed movements, the Qatari Government mediators and about a dozen other organizations and governments.