2 June 2006

Secretary-General Deeply Regrets Failure of Darfur Parties to Sign Peace Agreement by 31 May Deadline

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

The Secretary-General is concerned that, despite the appeals of the African Union and the international community, the Abdulwahid faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement have failed to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement prior to the 31 May deadline set by the African Union in its communiqué of 15 May 2006.

The Secretary-General deeply regrets this failure and will remain in touch with the African Union leadership on the possible follow-up measures.

The Secretary-General strongly believes that the only way forward in addressing this devastating conflict is through the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, as well as the decisions of the African Union Peace and Security Council.

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