SUDAN WATCH: Enhanced Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement (EHCA): AU wants Darfur fighters to withdraw to clearly identified areas with buffer zones between

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Enhanced Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement (EHCA): AU wants Darfur fighters to withdraw to clearly identified areas with buffer zones between

News Article by IRIN March 13, 2006 reports AU mediators in the Darfur peace talks have proposed putting rival forces in Darfur behind buffer zones after ceasefire agreements have been repeatedly ignored. Excerpt:
The warring sides first signed a ceasefire accord in the Chadian capital N'djamena in April 2004. But nearly two years on, mediators said on Sunday that that agreement lacks sufficient details to be effective and a new proposal - dubbed the "Enhanced Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement" - has been drafted and presented to the warring sides.

"The [draft] agreement specifies that the forces of the government and the two movements withdraw their forces to clearly identified areas, with buffer zones between them," mediators said in a statement.

The main objectives of the new proposals are "the demilitarisation of humanitarian supply routes and camps for displaced people," mediators said.

Sudanese government and rebel officials confirmed they have received the new proposals and would respond as demanded by the mediators. AU officials said urgent action was required from the belligerents to halt the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Darfur.

"The government and the movements first signed a ceasefire agreement almost two years ago, but they never stopped fighting," said Sam Ibok, head of the AU mediation team, who called conditions unacceptable. "Today, the humanitarian agencies in Darfur are reaching fewer people than they did when that ceasefire agreement was signed."

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