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Annan urges Sudanese negotiators to end atrocities

Annan calls on Sudanese negotiators over Darfur peace to end atrocities

Welcoming the beginning of the renewed Sudanese peace talks to end civil conflict in Darfur, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged representatives of the Government and the two rebel movements to stop the atrocities and bloodshed and to negotiate a just and all-inclusive accord.

Mr. Annan's call came as the leadership of all parties met in Abuja, Nigeria, for the seventh round of the African Union-led (AU) negotiations on the nearly three-year-old conflict in western Sudan, which has led to the deaths of 300,000 and displaced 2 million others. Tanzanian diplomat Salim Ahmed Salim is the chief AU mediator.

"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 said through his spokesman.

Mr. Annan also called on all armed groups in Darfur to cooperate fully with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

Meanwhile, he appealed to donors to continue supporting both the crucial work of AMIS "in this long-suffering region" and providing critical humanitarian assistance for the millions affected by the war.

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