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English  |  العربية 08:39:08, Thursday, 18 Sep 2014

Press Release

8 Mar 14 - UNAMID Head meets AU Chairperson, Darfur armed movement leaders

Addis Ababa, 8 March 2014 —The African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative (JSR) and Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, facilitated a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 7 March between the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and leaders of the Sudan Liberation Army - Minni Minawi and the Justice and Equality Movement - Gibril Ibrahim.

“This meeting is a significant opportunity for the movements and the African Union to exchange views and for building a common understanding of the basis for a lasting political settlement for Darfur,” said JSR Chambas.

The leaders of the armed movements, Minni Arko Minawi and Gibril Ibrahim Mohamed, affirmed their commitment for peace, a united Sudan with a national identity that reflects its cultural and religious diversity, and the need for a national dialogue to address holistically the problems facing the country. They urged the African Union to become fully engaged in the political process and assist the Sudanese parties to realize these goals.

The Chairperson welcomed the commitment of the armed movement leaders to peace, the unity of their country, a comprehensive and negotiated solution to Sudan’s issues, and the holding of national dialogue. Reflecting on the experience of the African National Congress of South Africa, she advised: “There will always be problems of mistrust, skepticism and doubts when people have been at war for decades.”

The Head of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) urged the movements to join the ‘national dialogue’ proposed by Sudanese President Al Bashir in January, as a workable option towards bringing a comprehensive solution to the crises in Darfur and all of Sudan. Chairperson Zuma similarly, encouraged them to continue to work with UNAMID and other stakeholders to formulate a strategy on how to conduct the national dialogue.

The Chairperson reaffirmed the commitment of the African Union, through the joint efforts of UNAMID and the African Union High Level Panel on Sudan, to continue to assist all the Sudanese parties in the search for lasting peace and economic development in Sudan. “The more we can assist Sudan to be united, diverse with a common national identity, the better for the AU”, she said.

During his visit to Addis Ababa, JSR Chambas also met the Envoys of the League of Arab States member states accredited to Ethiopia and briefed them on the situation in Darfur, highlighting the security situation, including the rise in inter and intra-communal conflicts and continuing belligerency between the Government of Sudan and armed movements with their negative impact on the humanitarian situation which has worsened.

Mr. Chambas discussed his efforts towards facilitating an inclusive and sustainable political process to bring the Darfur conflict to a successful and acceptable conclusion for all stakeholders. He stressed the need for the support and goodwill of the international community, including the Arab League, to make the national dialogue proposed by the Government of Sudan transparent and credible.
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