Home | News    Friday 8 August 2003

EU says ’time is ripe’ for peace agreement in Sudan


BRUSSELS, Belgium, Aug 08, 2003 (AP) — The European Union welcomed the imminent resumption of peace talks on Sudan and said it would be ready to help with implementing an agreement.

"The EU considers that the time is ripe to strike the final compromises on the outstanding key issues and reach a comprehensive agreement to put an end to the conflict and to the sufferings of civilian population in Sudan," said a statement on behalf of the 15 EU governments and the 10 countries joining next year.

Talks to end Africa’s longest civil war are to resume Sunday under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a regional authority that has been mediating between President Omar el-Bashir’s government and southern rebels.

The EU praised the "pivotal role" of countries involved, especially Kenya, whose special envoy is leading the mediation team, and said it was ready to assist all those involved "in the implementation of the peace agreement and to accompany Sudan on a path of peace building, democracy and development."

Talks to end Sudan’s 20-year civil war were renewed last year and have yielded a protocol providing for the separation of state and religion in southern Sudan and a referendum on self-determination after a six-year transitional period.

But both sides have yet to agree on sharing wealth and power and security arrangements during the interim period.

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