Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today the inauguration of the Darfur Regional Authority, a body intended to stimulate development and facilitate peace in the war-torn western region of Sudan.
Mr. Ban said the launch of the authority in El Fasher marked an important milestone in the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), an agreement signed in Qatar last year between the Sudanese Government and the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).
The UN has previously said that agreement can form the basis for a permanent ceasefire and a comprehensive peace accord to end the fighting that began more than eight years ago.
In his remarks to the inauguration, delivered by the Joint Special Representative for the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, Mr. Ban urged the parties to “take all necessary measures to equip the authority to fulfil its responsibility to promote reconciliation, early recovery and development so that peace dividends are realized by and equitably shared among the population of Darfur.”
Mr. Ban said he looked to the Government and the LJM to carry the peace process forward, and reiterated the UN’s commitment to support the authority’s work. The Secretary-General also appealed to the Government and armed movements which have not signed the DDPD to enter into negotiations towards a final agreement immediately and without preconditions.
The authority was first established as the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority in April 2007 under the terms of the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement. It was reformed after the signing of a new peace agreement in July last year.