High-Level panel on Darfur to complete task in 4 months

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- The African Union Panel on Darfur (AUPD) will complete its assignment in four months from now, Mr.
Thabo Mbeki, chairman of the panel and former president of South Africa, told reporters here at the conclusion of a two day meeting of the panel.
The AUDP will soon travel to the Sudan, including Darfur, and other countries to meet with stakeholders in a bid to find an end to the political standoff in Darfur.
“We will then advice the African Union on how to go about the issues of peace, Justice and reconciliation,” said Mr.
Mbeki at the inaugural meeting of the committee here.
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union established the AUDP on 21 July, 2008, with the mandate to examine the situation in depth and submit recommendations on how best the issues of accountability and combating impunity as well reconciliation could be comprehensively addressed.
Members of the panel include Mr.
Peirre Buyoya, former president of Burundi; General Abdusalami Abubakar, former head of state of Nigeria; Mr.
Tieble Drame, former Malian Minister, and other African high-level officials.
The panel’s inaugural meeting was attended by representatives of the PSC, members of the United Nations Security Council, European Union and African diplomats.
The meeting featured presentations on the origins and patterns of war in the volatile region of Darfur, the search for peace, the UNAMID activities, achievements today and challenges encountered, an official who attended the meeting told PANA here.
The panel does not have the mandate to address the recent decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, said Mbeki.
Reports from Sudan, however, indicate that tensions have risen in the western region of Sudan after the arrest warrant was issued by the ICC.
Sudan also has expelled more than 13 aid organizations considering them spies with political motives.
The AU has been working on resolving the Darfur crisis since 2004, both through the deployment of a peace-keeping operation and mediation of political dialogue.

19 march 2009 20:50:00

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