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UN will raise Darfur at peace talks in Nigeria

UN Sudan envoy will raise Darfur security problems at peace talks in Nigeria

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Sudan will raise the issue of deteriorating security in the country’s western Darfur region when he attends peace talks in Nigeria later this week, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said today.

Jan Pronk will head to Nigeria on Friday, according to UNMIS. The move comes amid reports from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that almost 70,000 people were displaced by attacks on two towns in South Darfur last week, forcing already displaced persons to flee yet again.

Mr. Pronk, who heads UNMIS, today returned to Khartoum after a two-day visit to Juba, southern Sudan’s capital, where he met several senior officials of the Government of South Sudan.

They discussed progress on implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended 21 years of North-South civil war in Sudan. UNMIS said Mr. Pronk voiced dissatisfaction that many key bodies provided for in the Agreement have not been operating.

The mission was deployed to support the Agreement signed between the Government of Sudan and the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in Nairobi, Kenya, a year ago. It also has a mandate from the UN Security Council to provide some support to the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as AMIS.

Last week, responding to growing bloodshed in Darfur, Mr. Annan called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and resolve their differences at the negotiating table in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

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