Saturday, October 22, 2005

AU Press Release on the end of 6th Round of Darfur peace talks

Saturday 22 October 2005.




Oct 20, 2005 (ABUJA) — The Sixth Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur between the Government of the Sudan (GoS), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), organized under the auspices of the African Union (AU) ended today Thursday, 20 October 2005, in Abuja, Nigeria, with a commitment by the Parties to make the next Round a decisive one and to work tirelessly for the achievement of that objective in order to give a respite to the people of Darfur from their long suffering.

The closing ceremony, which was chaired by the AU Special Envoy and Chief Mediator, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, was attended by all the Sudanese Parties, the Chadian Co-Mediation, the Facilitators and the International Partners. In his statement, Dr. Salim, while underscoring the modest progress made during this Round, stressed the importance and the urgent need to integrate a gender perspective into the Agenda of the negotiations. “ The women of Darfur are entitled to have a place on this negotiating table,” he said. Consequently, he urged all the Parties to increase the number of women on their respective delegations for the next Round.

Like the Parties, the Special Envoy reiterated his commitment to make the next Round a decisive one. To this end, he intends to undertake extensive consultations with all the stakeholders, prior to the convening of the Seventh Round. He also expressed his gratitude to the Chairman of the African Union, President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Presidents of Chad, Libya and Eritrea, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Prof. Alpha Oumar Konaré and to the International Partners and the Resource Persons, who were the Coordinators of the Commissions.

In their statement, the Parties reaffirmed their determination to use the intervening period between the Sixth and Seventh Rounds, to consult widely with their various constituencies, in order to be better prepared for the final phase of the negotiations. They also expressed their readiness to address the outstanding problems that may have undermined the pace of the negotiations during the current Round For their part, the Co-Mediation, the Facilitators and the Partners who took the floor, reiterated their support and appreciation to the African Union for its mediation. They also expressed concern at the slow pace of the Talks and appealed to the Parties to make an improvement on the level of preparation and determination to conclude the negotiations.

It may be recalled that during this Sixth Round of the Talks, three Commissions were set up on the substantive issues of Power Sharing, Wealth Sharing and Security Arrangements. On Power Sharing, the Parties reached agreement on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as on Criteria and Guidelines for Power Sharing, two items out of the nine on the Agenda. On Wealth Sharing, they agreed on a ten- point Agenda to be discussed during the next Round, while informal consultations were conducted on the issue of Security Arrangements.

The Seventh Round of the Talks will be opened in Abuja, Nigeria, on 21 November, 2005

Press Contact: Mr. Assane BA: Tel + 234 806 564 4914 Mr. Moussa Hamani: Tel + 234 806 529 4818

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