Top UN envoy for Sudan urges speedier progress in Darfur peace talks
9 January 2006 – The top United Nations envoy to Sudan is on his way to New York after attending the peace talks on the country’s troubled Darfur region in Abuja, Nigeria, where he urged the Khartoum Government and rebel groups to speed up the pace of negotiations, a UN spokesman said today.
Jan Pronk, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sudan, discussed the status of the negotiations on Darfur and the way forward there with mediators and international observers as well as the parties involved, the spokesman added.
Mr. Pronk is scheduled to brief the Security Council on Sudan on Friday.
Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reported that West Darfur remains volatile following last week’s ambush on an African Union (AU) convoy in which one AU soldier was killed and four others injured. There are conflicting reports on the identity of the perpetrators.
“The tragic death of a soldier from the African Mission is an illustration of the challenges that this peacekeeping operation is facing," Under-Secretary-General Jean-Marie Guéhenno said at a press conference today. “More often than not, unfortunately, it is facing a situation that is not a peacekeeping situation.
“The situation has to move into a peacekeeping situation," he stressed. “That means that the Abuja process has to produce results.”
In his latest report to the Council on Sudan, Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for urgently improving security in Darfur and intensifying the search for a durable political peace, including a permanent ceasefire.
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