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UN Seeks Khartoum's Commitments On Darfur

UN-Sudanese Body To Meet On Keeping Khartoum's Commitments On Darfur

The joint body charged with implementing commitments made by the Sudanese Government and the United Nations to alleviate the suffering and end the fighting in the strife-torn Darfur region will hold its next meeting this Friday.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters today in New York that the meeting of the Joint Implementation Mechanism (JIM) is likely to focus on how to help Khartoum put in place the pledges it made under a joint communiqué signed in early July.

Khartoum promised then to immediately begin disarming the notorious Janjaweed militias, who are accused of murdering or raping thousands of civilians, to end the impunity for those responsible for the worst atrocities, and to protect Darfur's swelling population of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

On 2 September Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan and the co-chair of JIM, told the Security Council that Khartoum has not disarmed the Janjaweed nor stopped their attacks.

Friday's meeting will be the first since Mr. Pronk's briefing and the submission to the Council of a report on the Darfur crisis by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. That report found that "some of the core commitments" have not been met by Khartoum.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pronk said he was concerned by reports of fresh clashes across Darfur, especially in the north, between Government forces and members of the rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA).

He urged the two rebel groups, the SLA and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudanese Government to resume their peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria. The talks, which are being mediated by the African Union (AU), were adjourned over the weekend after they became bogged down on security issues.

Mr. Eckhard said the heads of the delegations to the talks are expected to meet Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo tomorrow to discuss where and when to resume the talks.

At least 1.2 million people live as IDPs and another 200,000 are refugees in neighbouring Chad because of the Janjaweed attacks and the fighting between Khartoum and the SLA and JEM.

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