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Ethiopia and IGAD urged to continue role in Darfur peace process

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 30, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Special Representative of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari has called on Ethiopia and East African regional body the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) to continue their efforts to secure lasting peace in the restive Sudanese region of Darfur.

Gambari is in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where he held talks with Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Saturday ahead of the African Union (AU) summit that kicked off earlier on Sunday.

According to Ethiopian state media, both sides conferred on peace and security affairs in Darfur.

He urged the government of Ethiopia, IGAD and the international community at large to continue supporting Darfur peace process. He also called on the Government of Ethiopia to further strengthen its support to UNAMID.

The Ethiopian official on his part reaffirmed his government’s full and continued support to bring lasting peace and to maintain security and stability in Sudan and at the region as a whole.

The African Union head of states and governments assembly Summit from January 30-31 is being held under the theme "Towards Greater Unity and Integration Through Shared Values".

It is expected to deliberate on the post-referendum development in Sudan, other security situation in the continent as well as development, climate change and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as priorities of the discussions.

(ST)