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March 21, 11

NEWS / Darfur: UN-backed mediation team reports progress on peace draft

21 March 2011 – The African Union-United Nations chief mediator for Darfur and his Qatari partner plan to call an all-party conference next month to launch a bid to achieve a final peace agreement for the Sudanese region, which has been torn by almost eight years of devastating civil war.

The decision, announced today, comes after AU-UN Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassolé and Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud received observations from the Sudanese Government and two of its opponents, the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), on draft texts submitted by the mediators and based on previous negotiations.

“The mediation welcomes this concrete progress made by the three parties towards achieving a comprehensive peace agreement for Darfur,” the mediators said in a statement, urging them to continue working towards the adoption of all the texts submitted so that the mediators can finalize a draft agreement and submit it to them for signature.

As a necessary element of the finalization phase, the mediators said they would organize an all-Darfur stakeholder conference on 18 April in Doha, Qatar’s capital, to “enable the establishment of a broad-base ownership” to achieve a final and comprehensive peace agreement.

“The conference will also provide an opportunity for the mediation to seek international support for the implementation of the provisions of the final agreement,” they added.

The war between the Sudanese Government, backed by militia allies, and various rebel groups has killed at least 300,000 people and displaced 2.7 million others since it erupted in 2003.




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