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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Tuesday 31 May 2005

SUDAN: Southern pact basis for addressing other conflicts - Annan

NAIROBI, 31 May 2005 (IRIN) - The peace agreement signed this year between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) constitutes a road map for resolving other conflicts in the country, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said during a visit to Sudan.

Annan called for a quick implementation of the agreement, which was signed in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on 9 January.

"The Naivasha process [which resulted in the southern peace agreement] and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement have provided a road map which could be the basis of a peace agreement in the troubled region of Darfur," Annan said when he addressed the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) in the southern Sudanese town of Rumbek on Sunday.

Annan urged delegates - including SPLM/A chairman John Garang, NCRC co-chairman Abel Alier and members of the commission - to finalise their work as soon as possible and establish a government of national unity by July.

"I urge you to continue in your efforts to complete this essential task in a timely manner. The momentum of the peace process depends on it," Annan said.

"Your work is proving that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is a road map to sustainable peace. This will give hope to the people of Darfur," he added.

The Secretary-General stressed the importance of broadening the
participation of political parties and civil-society organisations in formulating the constitution and called for strong human-rights provisions in the document to ensure the protection of the rights of the vulnerable.

On Saturday, Annan visited Kalma camp for displaced persons in South Darfur state, where more than 100,000 people have been living after they fled their homes because of attacks on their villages and towns.

Annan described the situation in Darfur as "heart-wrenching" and emphasised the need to ensure "security not only for humanitarian relief efforts but also for eventual reconstruction and recovery." There could be no development without security or security without development, he said.

"What we need to do is to create an environment [...], that will encourage the people to go back home. To go back and plant, to go back and pick up their lives and begin to recover," he told reporters in Khartoum on Friday.

He added that the international community hoped that peace would be attained in Sudan. "We should really press hard at the political level in Abuja to get the long-term agreement that is required," he said. Peace talks aimed at resolving the Darfur conflict are scheduled to resume in the Nigerian capital on 10 June.

Annan also noted that the international community had the responsibility for providing Sudan with the support it had promised.

At the Oslo donor's conference held on 11-12 April, more than $600 million in pledges were made, but there was still a major shortfall of funds, particularly for rehabilitation work in southern Sudan.

The war between the SPLM/A and the Sudanese government in the south erupted in 1983 when rebels took up arms against authorities based in the north to demand greater autonomy. The fighting killed at least two million people, uprooted four million more and forced some 550,000 to flee to neighbouring countries.

The conflict in Darfur pits Sudanese government troops and militias - allegedly allied to the government - against rebels fighting to end what they have called marginalisation and discrimination of the region's inhabitants by the state.

Over 2.4 million people continue to be affected by the conflict, 1.86 million of whom are internally displaced or have been forced to flee to neighbouring Chad.


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