Thursday, April 20, 2006

Militia in Darfur must be controlled to ensure peace, says AU

(IRIN Apr 20) Neutralisation of the Janjawid and "undisciplined militia" - stipulated under the "Enhanced Ceasefire Agreement" as put forward by the AU mediation team at negotiations in the Nigerian capital, Abuja - was a prerequisite for any peace agreement, AU chief mediator, Salim Ahmed Salim said. Security arrangements would make or break the negotiations:

The proposals included the disengagement and redeployment of the forces, disarmament of the Janjawid, the control and neutralisation of militias, protection of displaced persons, security of nomadic migration corridors and the demilitarisation of humanitarian supply routes, he said.

Despite these difficulties, Salim was optimistic about the recent progress the Sudanese government and the two main Darfurian rebel groups had made. He expressed hope that a deal could be reached by the 30 April deadline set by the AU. "We are working full-steam to meet this deadline," he said.

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