KHARTOUM, May 30, 2005 (Xinhua) — Top UN envoy in Sudan Jan Pronk said here Monday that the situation in Sudan’s conflict-plagued Darfur region is improving.
- Jan Pronk
In a press statement following his meeting with Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Othman Ismail, Pronk said there were no military confrontations between the government forces and the Darfur rebel groups over the last two months.
He added that the hostile activities of the militias against the Darfur civilians also decreased.
The top UN envoy pointed out that the African Union (AU) is working to enhance its existence on the ground through increasing the number of its troops there.
The AU currently maintains 2,300 peacekeeping forces in Darfur and it has pledged to increase the forces to 7,700 by September.
Pronk, in addition, urged the rebel groups to attend the next round of peace talks in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on June 10.
He said he is conducting contacts with the rebel groups to ensure they will participate, adding that he has already received positive promises from the Sudan Liberation Movement, one of the two main rebel movements in Darfur.
Pronk declared that a UN delegation will pay a visit to Darfur in July to evaluate the situation of Darfur on the ground.
Rebels took up arms in Sudan’s arid western Darfur region against the government in February 2003, accusing it of neglect. Many people have been killed during two years of violence and more displaced.
Rounds of peace talks in Abuja have so far failed to hammer out a final settlement.