AU, UNAMID and US support Sudan's new strategy in Darfur

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August 26, 2010 (KHARTOUM) - Representatives of the African Union (AU), UNAMID and United States voiced today their support to Sudan's news strategy to resettle displaced persons and develop the restive region.

UNAMID JSR Ibrahim Gambari attends consultative meeting on Darfur Strategy with Sudanese Presidential Advisor, Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani; Chairman of the AU High Level Implementation Panel, Thabo Mbeki, and US Special Envoy for Sudan, Scott Gration in Khartoum on Aug 26, 2010 (Albert G. Farran/UNAMID)

Chairman of AU Panel on Sudan, Thabo Mbeki, Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration met Thursday with Presidential Adviser, Ghazi Salah Eddin Attabani to discuss government's new strategy to end Darfur conflict through development and resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

"We strongly support this strategy to resolve the conflict in Darfur," said Mbeki in statements to reporters following the meeting. He said they discussed the Sudanese government new strategy "including security, reconciliation, development and resettlement of the IDPs and refugees as well as how to ensure delivery of humanitarian assistance to the needy".

Mbeki urged the government to speed up the implementation of its strategy adding they would continue their consultations to achieve peace in Darfur. He further said that Sudan and UNAMID "need to do all things necessary to ensure that the security situation in Darfur is improved".

The UN Security Council discussed on August 23, the humanitarian situation in Darfur generally and Kalma camp in South Darfur particularly. The 15 members Council urged Sudan and rebels to not hinder humanitarian access to the needy and condemned "instigation of violence in Kalma camp".

UN Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes, told the Security Council that Sudanese government should not forcibly relocate the IDPS to new camps. He added that the situation remains "tense and fragile, with Government talk of moving IDPs out of Kalma and dismantling the camp ongoing".

Ghazi, for his part, told reporters that the meeting focused on what can be done directly to the civilians in Darfur to alleviate their suffering and create a climate for development and recovery.

On the relocation of the IDPs camps, Ghazi said the meeting agreed that this process should to be peaceful and in a way to not cause damages to the residents.

"If there are security threats inside the IDPs camps, it must be dealt within the framework of the law," he said, stressing the need to disarm the camps. He stated that all parties involved at the meeting share the same opinion with the Government in this regard, especially UNAMID.

He also reiterated the Sudanese government support to the Doha as official venue for the negotiations with rebels groups and hailed the efforts exerted by the Qatari officials to resolve the seven year conflict in Darfur.

Reacting to the remarks made by Mbeki supporting Sudanese government new strategy in the troubled region, the leader of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) Abdel Wahid Al-Nur said he does not "expect from the former South African president more than what he said because he used to support the government of National Congress Party" (NCP).

"The government that killed hundreds of thousands in Darfur would continue its genocide policy but this time with Mbeki's support," he underlined.

The rebel leader casted doubts on Khartoum willingness to resettle IDPs in their homeland and villages, as he demands. He also believes that the IDPs camps would be dismantled and aid workers prevented to deliver needed relief.