South Africa welcomes developments in Darfur

Updated: 2007-08-08 02:13

JOHANNESBURG -- The South African government on Tuesday welcomed developments in the Darfur Peace Talks convened by the United Nations and African Union in Arusha, north Tanzania, from Friday to Monday.

Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that "the South African government welcomes the commitment by all parties to implement the Road-Map outlined by the UN and African Union Special Envoys Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim."

Eight Darfur rebel groups on Monday agreed on a common platform for peace negotiations with the Sudanese government that they said could start within three months.

"The South African government calls on Sudan Liberation Movement leader Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur, who currently resides in France, to return to Sudan to participate in this process," said the statement.

It said that South Africa also welcomes the commitment by the rebel groups to allow free access by humanitarian agencies to people affected by the conflict and their pledge to stop hostilities against aid organizations and African Union (AU) peacekeepers deployed in Darfur.

The South African government called on the Darfur rebel groups and Sudanese government to successfully conclude negotiations scheduled to be held in three months.

The UN Security Council last week ordered the deployment of 26, 000 peacekeepers there to take over from an ill-equipped African Union force of 7,000 in Darfur.

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