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British PM Backs Darfur Peace Talks


PM backs Darfur peace talks

The UK is ready to support the recovery of the Darfur region of Sudan, the Prime Minister said tonight as he urged all parties to participate in the peace talks taking place in Libya.

Speaking in a televised statement earlier tonight, the PM urged all parties to engage in this "critical moment" in solving the crisis after rebel leaders stayed away from the talks.

The conflict has left 200,000 dead and 2 million displaced.

The UK has provided over $450 million over past 3 years for humanitarian relief and peacekeeping and has announced an initial $10 million to support early recovery at grass-roots level, to provide water, health care and jobs.

Complete Statement

Gordon Brown has welcomed peace talks that have started in Libya this weekend that aim to find a solution to the crisis in Darfur.

British PM's Statement on Darfur

This is a critical moment for Darfur, and the world must give its full backing to the peace talks that have started in Libya this weekend. They will be hard and protracted, but offer the best opportunity to end the horrific conflict that has left 200,000 dead and 2 million displaced.

I applaud those who have shown leadership in participating. I call on those who have stayed away to show the same commitment and responsibility.

The most urgent need of the people of Darfur is a full and immediate cessation of hostilities. So I welcome the Sudanese Government's unilateral announcement of a ceasefire. Others must now follow, and we must ensure effective AU and UN oversight of the ceasefire.

We must also accelerate deployment of a larger and more effective peacekeeping force as agreed by the UN Security Council. I call upon UN member states to provide specialist capabilities still lacking, particularly helicopters and ground transport; and the Government of Sudan to facilitate early and rapid deployment. The UK has provided over $450 million over past 3 years for humanitarian relief and peacekeeping. We will continue to give substantial support.

We stand ready to take tough action with partners against any party that obstructs progress including new sanctions.

We also stand ready to support economic recovery. We have announced an initial $10 million to support early recovery at grass-roots level, to provide water, health care and jobs. Once a political settlement and security are in place, we will provide further assistance for long-term development and reconstruction in Darfur. We urge all parties to engage wholeheartedly to advance the day when that will be possible.

ENDS

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