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Official In Sudan Hails Progress

Top UN Official In Sudan Hails Progress In Disarmament Process

The top United Nations envoy to Sudan today praised the progress made in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process in the war-torn country, the most complex and largest operation of its type in the world.

Speaking in the capital Khartoum, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi – the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sudan – saluted the moves made towards achieving the key benchmarks of the DDR programme.

“Policies are in place, planning is under way and the funding for some initial steps is available,” Mr. Qazi, who also heads the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), told the National DDR Coordination Commission.

Mr. Qazi also commended the National DDR Council as well as the North and South DDR Commissions for their constructive approach to resolving the regions long-running conflict.

The DDR agreement is an important component of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ending the long-running north-south civil war between the Government and the former southern rebels.

The 21-year war between the Sudanese armed forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) left at least two million people dead and displaced another 4.5 million.

“Such progress is central to peace in all of Sudan, including Darfur,” Mr. Qazi noted in a press release while pledging the full commitment of the UN to launching a pilot DDR project, most likely in Blue Nile state, before the end of the year.

Despite the achievements in advancing the DDR programme, Mr. Qazi acknowledged that much remains to be done to make peace a reality in the region.

“Adequate and timely funding for reintegration must be secured, especially from donor countries, regardless of whatever uncertainties may lie ahead,” he stated.

Mr. Qazi called for a round-table meeting of the parties, the UN and the donor community in October with the hope of achieving further agreements on demobilization.

ENDS

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