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DATE=2/15/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-245549 TITLE=SUDAN MEDIATOR (L-ONLY) BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS IS PRESSING AHEAD ON EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE A POLITICAL SOLUTION IN WAR-TORN SUDAN. LISA SCHLEIN REPORTS FROM GENEVA THE UNITED NATIONS PROPOSES APPOINTING A PERMANENT MEDIATOR TO WORK FULL TIME ON FINDING A PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT TO THE WAR. TEXT: A TOP UNITED NATIONS OFFICIAL SAYS EFFORTS BY AN EAST AFRICAN REGIONAL GROUP TO ACHIEVE PEACE IN SUDAN ARE NOT WORKING. THE U-N SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SUDAN, TOM VRAALSEN, SAYS THE GROUP IS FACED WITH ITS OWN PROBLEMS, WHICH ARE INTERFERING WITH THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS. HE OBSERVES THAT THE GROUP IS NOW PARALYZED BY THE FIGHTING BETWEEN TWO OF ITS MEMBERS -- ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA -- AS WELL AS PROBLEMS IN DJIBOUTI AND UGANDA. IN ADDITION, AMBASSADOR VRAALSEN SAYS THE GROUP DOESN'T MEET OFTEN ENOUGH TO BE EFFECTIVE IN FINDING PEACE FOR SUDAN. ///VRAALSEN ACT/// YOU DON'T GET A POLITICAL SOLUTION IF YOU MEET FOR THREE DAYS EVERY SIX MONTHS. THAT IS NOT THE WAY TO CREATE PEACE ANYWHERE. WHAT WE NEED IN THE SUDAN IS A SUSTAINED EFFORT -- WHICH MEANS A 24-HOUR (FULL-TIME) EFFORT. ///END ACT/// TO ACHIEVE THAT, MR. VRAALSEN PROPOSES THE APPOINTMENT OF A PERMANENT MEDIATOR, BACKED BY AN INDEPENDENT SECRETARIAT. HE SAYS THEIR TASK WILL BE TO TRY TO NARROW DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE MUSLIM GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTH AND THE CHRISTIAN AND ANIMIST REBELS IN THE SOUTH. //OPT// THE AMBASSADOR SAYS THE U-N WILL ASK KENYAN PRESIDENT DANIEL ARAP MOI, WHO IS CHAIRMAN OF THE REGIONAL PEACE GROUP, TO SELECT THE MEDIATOR, WHO WILL WORK OUT OF AN OFFICE IN NAIROBI. MR. VRAALSEN SAYS HE DOESN'T EXPECT ANY OPPOSITION TO THIS PROPOSAL FROM SUDAN'S WARRING FACTIONS. ///SECOND VRAALSEN ACT/// WE HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT IF SUCH A SECRETARIAT IS ESTABLISHED, AND IF SUCH A REPRESENTATIVE IS APPOINTED, THAT THE PARTIES WILL NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THAT AND ACTIVELY INVOLVE THEMSELVES IN THOSE KIND OF NEGOTIATIONS. AFTER ALL, THEY BOTH (SAY) THAT THEY WANT A SOLUTION TO THE CONFLICT IN THAT COUNTRY. ///END ACT/// /END OPT// THE U-N ENVOY SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT THE NEW MEDIATION TEAM BE ESTABLISHED QUICKLY. HE SAYS A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO THE SUDANESE CONFLICT MUST BE FOUND BECAUSE THE INTERNATIONAL DONOR COMMUNITY CAN NOT SUSTAIN THE KIND OF SUPPORT IT GAVE LAST YEAR. //REST OPT// INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE PREVENTED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN SUDAN FROM STARVING TO DEATH. THIS YEAR, THE UNITED NATIONS HAS APPEALED FOR NEARLY 200 MILLION DOLLARS TO HELP AN ESTIMATED FOUR MILLION PEOPLE STRUCK BY WAR, DISEASE AND HUNGER. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/PCF 15-Feb-99 10:04 AM EST (1504 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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