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U.S diplomat says African roadmap only can lead to peace in Sudan

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U.S. Chargé d'affaires Steven Koutsis celebrates World Refugee Day in El-Nimir camp in Ed-Daein, East Darfur State on 21 June 2017 (US Embassy photo)

June 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, Steven Koutsis Wednesday reiterated the support of his country for a stable Sudan, adding that the African Union roadmap remains the only way for a peaceful solution.

Koutsis made his remarks at the end of a three-day visit to North, Central and East Darfur states that he described as "fruitful".

He said the visit enabled him to see the consequences of war and the positives effects of humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the war-affected areas.

"I reiterated the United States’ support for a peaceful and stable Sudan. I have also made it very clear ?that negotiations for a lasting peace based on the African Union roadmap is the only way to settle differences. Returning to war is not an option," he said in a written statement posted on the embassy’s page on Facebook.

He further called on all the warring parties to sign a humanitarian cessation of hostilities and to join the negotiating table to achieve peace and stability.

The government and armed groups failed in August 2017 to ink a cessation of hostilities and a humanitarian agreement to reach the needy in the war-affected zones. Washington has made some proposals to encourage the parties but in vain.

For the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, a recent rift in the group is delaying the resumption of talks as the SPLM-N has suspended its participation in the peace process until the settlement of the internal crisis.

For Darfur, the divergence over the framework of the political process prevented any progress. The mediation and facilitators are struggling to find a common group between Khartoum and the armed groups.

"I hope to return soon to Darfur to see the progress the government and people have made in securing peace," Koutsis said.

The American diplomat concluded on Wednesday was in East Darfur State to visit South Sudanese refugees who fled violence and hunger in South Sudan. He celebrated World Refugee Day in El-Nimir camp in Ed Daein.

He discussed with representatives ?of East Darfur Humanitarian Aid Commission and Commission for Refugees the ongoing aid operation to South Sudanese refugees

"We commended them on the work they have done to respond to the refugee crisis and their efforts in facilitating NGO and UN agencies’ access to all areas of East Darfur," he said.

(ST)

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