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Progress in Darfur peace is prerequisite for financial support - EU

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November 5, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — The European Union’s special envoy to Sudan has pledged to contribute in funding of Darfur recovery and development projects but added that such financial support requires that Khartoum make visible efforts in three areas in the implementation of peace there.

Rosalind Marsden during a visit to the Darfur region discussed Tuesday with Abu Al-Abbas Abdallah Al-Tayeb, North Darfur State’s deputy governor, the ongoing preparations to hold a donor conference in Doha scheduled for December.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting in Al-Fasher , the British diplomat expressed EU’s willingness to take part in the international efforts to contribute to Darfur development and reconstruction.

Rosalind however emphasized that Sudan has first to pay $200 million to Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) which is part of its commitments in the Doha Document for Peace In Darfur (DDPD) to prepare the voluntary return of displaced civilians and refugees.

She further underlined the delay in the implementation of a chapter of the deal related to justice and reconciliation in Darfur where a special court for war crimes is established in accordance with the document but the prosecutor does not yet start the prosecution of the war crimes.

The EU special representative further pointed out the need to cooperate with the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) tasked with the protection of civilians in the region.

The hybrid operation was able on Tuesday to dispatch an investigation team to Sigili in North Darfur, where 10 civilians were killed by militiamen earlier this week. Last Saturday, Sudanese police prevented UNAMID from reaching the area of the attack.

Abu Al-Abbas called on the EU to continue its support to the government efforts to achieve peace in Darfur stressing that Khartoum implemented largely the Doha document and established the regional institutions. He further mentioned the good cooperation between the DRA and the governors.

The European Union backed the Doha process but complains about the obstacles Sudanese officials create to prevent them from supporting the implementation of the 2011 deal in particular the functioning of the Darfur Regional Authority.

Recently an ambassadorial delegation headed by the EU ambassador in Khartoum visited the region to inspect peace implementation. Ahead of the visit the head of the regional authority Tijani Al-Sissi discussed with the head of Sudanese intelligence and security service Mohamed Atta ways to facilitate the visits of foreign delegations and experts in the region.

Ali Karti, Sudan’s foreign minister last week criticized a decision taken in 2009 to expel 13 aid groups from Darfur following the indictment of President Omer Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court over war crimes.

(ST)

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