Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- A consultative meeting on the current crisis in the Darfur Region of western Sudan opened late Thursday at the Commission of the African Union.
The meeting, being attended by the Sudanese parties in the conflict, namely the Government of Sudan, Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), is intended to finalise an agreement on dealing with the humanitarian crisis and the reported human rights violations in the Darfur region.
Representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, the European Union and the United Nations are also taking part in the meeting.
Meanwhile, the AU is making arrangements for the deployment of an observer mission in Darfur, based on the findings of its reconnaissance team that visited Sudan and Chad early this month.
Leaders of the 15-nation AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), who met Tuesday in Addis Ababa, have appealed to the UN and other AU partners to provide support for the deployment of the observer mission and the Ceasefire Commission in Darfur.
On 8 April 2004, the armed rebel movements of Darfur -- SLM/A and JEM -- and the Sudanese government signed in N'djamena, Chad, a humanitarian ceasefire agreement, which provides for the establishment of the Ceasefire Commission.
The PSC has urged the three parties to fully implement the ceasefire deal and respect international humanitarian law.
Khartoum has promised to control and disarm militia and non- regular forces operating in the troubled region of Darfur.
In another agreement signed 25 April 2004 in N'djamena, the three warring sides reaffirmed their will to convene a general conference of all representatives of Darfur.
The conference will discuss the political, economic and social situation in Darfur with the view to finding a definitive solution to the conflict.
It is widely believed that the conflict in Darfur was a result of political and economic marginalisation of the local population.
Consequently, all have a vested interest in the restructuring of power, development and equitable distribution of the region's wealth.