Envoys: Sudanese-Chadian relations vital to ending Darfur conflict

Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- Improving the relationship between Sudan and Chad is crucial to achieving a durable solution to the conflict wracking Darfur, the United Nations and African Union envoys said on Tuesday after wrapping up two days of consultations in Geneva with key members of the international community.
Jan Eliasson of the UN and Salim Ahmed Salim of the AU said they had received strong support from the participants at the Geneva consultations – which included the Security Council's permanent members, its African members, the European Union and neighbours of Sudan – for renewed efforts to move the political process forward.
"The first step is, of course, to do whatever we can – and particularly (for) the participants in this meeting, whatever they can – to facilitate the relationship between Chad and Sudan, which is basic for peace in Darfur," Mr.
Eliasson told a press briefing after the meeting, according to a statement released in Accra on Wednesday by the UN Information Centre.
Last week the presidents of Chad and Sudan signed an agreement regarding reconciliation and the normalizing of bilateral relations amid mounting concern about the violence and instability along their common border.
Tensions have been high in the region in recent weeks as about 10,000 sought refuge in eastern Chad following a series of deadly air and land attacks by Sudanese Government forces and allied militiamen on towns and villages in West Darfur, and Chadian rebels fought the forces of their Government.
Eliasson said the problems between Chad and Sudan, the growing unrest in the camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur, inter-tribal clashes and the continuing fragmentation of the region's rebel movements had combined to hurt efforts to start substantive peace talks between the Government and the movements.
The splintering of the movements is hindering the formation of a single negotiating team for any serious talks, Mr.
Eliasson said.

19 march 2008 20:30:00

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