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Calls for Mbeki to visit Sudan’s Darfur region

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May 13, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – A group of Darfurians called on the head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki, to visit the restive western Sudan region to inspect the situation on the ground for himself.

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Chief mediator for Sudan-South Sudan peace talks, former South Africa president, Thabo Mbeki (Getty)

“We are sure that his visit would make a different as we expect that he will convey the severity of the situation to the AU and helps it make swift move in bringing the most needed peace,” said the call which is signed by 152 activists.

The statement released after reports saying that Mbeki would visit the country for talks with Sudanese officials ahead of the resumption of peace talks between the government and the rebel SPLM-N.

The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on 9 May called on rebel groups in Darfur to negotiate a peace agreement with government under the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, which is rejected by the holdout movements.

SPM-MM leader Minni Minnawi, JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim and SRF deputy chairman Al-Tom Hajo sought last March to meet with Mbeki in Addis Ababa but he declined to meet them.

In March 2009, Mbeki was appointed as head of the High-Level Panel on Darfur (HPD). Following what he toured the region and issued in October of the same year a report where he spoke about “The Crisis of Sudan as manifested in Darfur”.

The 146-page report called for a global political agreement to be negotiated by the government, rebels, political parties, tribal leaders, IDPs, nomads and civil society groups.

(ST)

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