30 November 2005

Secretary-General Welcomes Start of New Darfur Peace Talks

NEW YORK, 29 November (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement is attributable to the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the commencement today in Abuja, Nigeria, of the seventh round of the African Union-led inter-Sudanese peace talks on Darfur.

The Secretary-General strongly appeals to the parties to the Abuja peace process -- the Government and the leadership of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement -- to immediately stop all violence and atrocities on the ground.  He calls on the parties to negotiate a just and comprehensive peace agreement.  Individual leaders will be judged on their immediate action to stop the bloodshed in Darfur.

The Secretary-General urges the parties to the conflict and all other armed groups in Darfur to cooperate fully with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and with the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS).

The Secretary-General also appeals to donors to continue supporting both the crucial work of AMIS in this long-suffering region and critical humanitarian assistance for millions of war-affected civilians in Darfur.

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