Sudan

UN, Sudan agree to talks to improve implementation of peace deal in south

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The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and the Sudanese Government will hold high-level consultations shortly on how to better implement the comprehensive peace agreement from 2005 that ended the country's protracted civil war between north and south.

The peacekeeping mission and the Government agreed to hold the talks after a meeting on Saturday between the Secretary-General's Acting Special Representative for Sudan Tayé-Brook Zerihoun and Idris AbdelGadir, the State Minister to the Sudanese Presidency.

The consultations "will be held in the near future," UNMIS reported today, adding that they would focus on how to make the peace deal more effective. Under that accord, which ended a 21-year civil war, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) was brought into a new Government of National Unity.

UNMIS said it is continuing its monitoring and verification duties under the peace agreement, although both the Sudanese armed forces and the SPLA have restricted access to the north and south of the town of Abyei.

In Juba, the Mission is also continuing to promote reconciliation between the Mundari and Bari communities, and has begun an assessment to see whether some Mundari communities can be resettled to the Tali and Terekeka areas.

Meanwhile, in Sudan's western region of Darfur, where a separate conflict has raged since 2003, UNMIS reported that an unknown armed man yesterday shot at a vehicle in South Darfur hired by an international non-governmental organization (NGO).

In West Darfur, two men stopped an international NGO convoy of two vehicles with five staff members, and robbed them of personal effects and communication equipment.

More than 200,000 people have been killed and at least 2 million others displaced from their homes in Darfur since rebel groups began clashing with Government forces and allied Janjaweed militias.