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UN Head Concerned At Situation In Darfur Sudan

Concerned At Situation In Darfur, Sudan, Annan Stands Ready To Support Mediation

Concerned over the grave humanitarian and human rights crisis in the Darfur region of western Sudan, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan plans to support efforts to mediate a settlement, a UN spokesperson said today.

Marie Okabe told reporters in New York that Mr. Annan has received "numerous communications from individuals, groups and organizations all over the world" asking him to ensure that emergency assistance is delivered to those in need and calling for action to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.

"The Secretary-General fully shares the concerns of the public at large, and in that regard would like to inform all those who wrote to him that he has been following the situation in Darfur very closely and with great concern," Ms. Okabe said. She recalled that in the early days of the Darfur crisis, he engaged the Sudanese Government, as well as others, and sought a political settlement to the problem.

"He regrets that those efforts could not help in preventing the grave humanitarian emergency and the massive violation of human rights in Darfur," the spokesperson said.

She added that Mr. Annan stands ready to continue to help the Sudanese parties, in close coordination with the African Union, the Government of Chad and others concerned, to reach a political settlement soon. "To that end, he will designate an envoy, who will represent him at the political talks due to resume in N'djamena, Chad, shortly," she said.

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