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Security Council Group To Meet Sudan President

Security Council delegation to meet Sudanese President

5 June 2008 - A Security Council mission visiting Africa is expected to meet with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir today in Khartoum, the country's capital.

Earlier in the day, the team visited El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, where the delegates were briefed by the heads of the UN-African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID.

"The world has placed its confidence in this mission," Rodolphe Adada, the UN-AU Joint Special Representative for Darfur, told the mission. "It will wither away if we are not able to deliver."

The Council members stopped at Zam Zam Camp housing internally displaced persons (IDPs) and were given an assessment of needs still to be met. They also met with representatives of UN and international relief agencies on how to overcome challenges in delivering crucial aid to the region.

More than 2.7 million people have been displaced from their homes across Darfur since 2003 because of fighting between rebels, Government forces and allied militiamen, while another 300,000 are estimated to have died, either through direct combat or disease, malnutrition or reduced life expectancy.

Meanwhile, the UN and AU envoys spearheading efforts to reach a lasting political solution in Darfur - Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim - today wrapped up two days of talks with regional and global partners, as well as Sudan, in Geneva.

The meeting was part of an effort to reassess the political landscape following recent developments, including the postponement of talks on security between the parties, Mr. Eliasson told reporters.

"The focus now has to be on de-escalation," he said, stressing that the Security Council, regional countries, Sudan and the parties all had to work together to find a solution.


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