AU leaders concerned over lack of progress in Darfur

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- African Union (AU) leaders have expressed deep co ncern at the continued lack of progress in the political process in the restive D arfur region of western Sudan, the PANA reports from here.
The African leaders, meeting in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el- Sheikh, the refore urged the parties concerned to extend full cooperation to the joint AU-UN mediation, so that substantive negotiations can begin in earnest.
A communique issued after the 138th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (P SC) of the heads of state and government expressed concern at the continued viol e nce in Darfur and its impact on the civilian population.
"Council stresses the need for continued efforts towards the full deployment of UNAMID," the communique stated, in reference to the joint peace- keeping force of the UN and the AU in the region.
Regarding the persisting tension between Chad and Sudan, the council supported t he renewed efforts aimed at facilitating the normalisation of relations between t he two countries, through the scrupulous implementation of the Dakar Agreement a n d previous agreements.
Condemning the attack of 11 June 2008 by armed groups on the Chadian territory, the PSC reaffirmed its total rejection of any attempt to seize power by unconsti t utional means, in violation of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as wel l as the Lome Declaration and other relevant instruments of the AU.
The council requested the AU Commission to dispatch to the Sudan and Chad, a fac t-finding mission to gather more information on the situation at the border betw e en the two countries, as well as evaluate the efforts deployed to resolve the cr i sis.
According to the communique, the council's session, which was devoted to conflic t and post-conflict situations in Africa, noted with satisfaction, the efforts d e ployed by the Central African government in the promotion of an inclusive politi c al dialogue.
"Council commends the conclusion of the preparatory work for the said dialogue a nd urges all the parties concerned to participate in it in a constructive manner , " the communique further said.
"Council welcomes the signing in Libreville, on 9 May 2008, of a Ceasefire and P eace Agreement between the government and the People's Army for the Restoration o f Democracy (APRD), as well as that of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, also in L ibreville on 23 June 2008.
"Council takes note of the decision of the ECCAS summit to transfer the manageme nt of the FOMUC from CEMAC to ECCAS, and expresses its appreciation to all the d e velopment partners for their constant support and commitment alongside the Centr a l African government.

01 juillet 2008 14:52:00

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