The Irish minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, arrived in Khartoum yesterday to urge the Sudanese government not to falter in efforts to end the three-year conflict in Darfur at a time when a shaky peace deal shows signs of fracturing. Ahern spent the day meeting government officials, UN reps and aid agencies in Khartoum and was due to fly to Darfur today, Irish Times
reported 4 July [via Sudan Tribune] 5 July. Excerpt:
Raymond Jordan, emergency co-ordinator for Goal, said the deal had splintered rebel groups, making it difficult to know which commander controlled which region, and whether they could guarantee the safety of aid workers.
Vehicles used by NGOs are also being deliberately targeted for hijack. The result, he said, was that Goal had suspended three-quarters of its operations, leaving tens of thousands of people without aid.
"It has always been difficult to work in Darfur but now it is simply not possible to work in the vast majority of our areas. The peace agreement is not working on the ground for women, children and the most vulnerable people, and that's the reality."
Ahern also met Pronk to hear his concerns that the peace agreement needed more provisions for security, disarmament and compensation for victims.