2 May 2006

Secretary-General Notes Deadline Expiration in Darfur Peace Talks, Urges Parties to Redouble Efforts, Seize Historic Opportunity

NEW YORK, 1 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General has taken note of the expiration of the 30 April deadline at the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on the conflict in Darfur.  He urges the parties, particularly the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), to redouble their efforts and to come to an agreement without delay, so that the suffering and destruction in Darfur can be brought to an end.

The situation in Darfur continues to be dire.  Millions of civilians remain dependent for their survival on humanitarian assistance.  Attacks and insecurity threaten to put a stop to this life sustaining humanitarian work.  The clear solution is for the parties to seize this historic opportunity to achieve peace and begin the task of recovery and reconstruction.  The United Nations stands ready to assist them on this path.

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