Home | News    Saturday 19 June 2004

African Union chief to visit Darfur on Sunday


ADDIS ABABA, June 19, 2004 (dpa) — The head of the African Union will pay a two- day visit to Darfur on Sunday to encourage implementation of the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups in Western Sudan in April.

In a statement Saturday, AU said Alpha Oumar Konare’s visit, was an effort "to create a propitious environment" for the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

A humanitarian disaster in Darfur loomed and was of great concern to the international community. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is scheduled to visit the region after the Third Ordinary Summit of the AU in Addis Ababa from July 6 to 8, according to informed sources.

Konare’s visit was aimed at mobilizing urgent international aid for the civilian population in Darfur and refugees from Western Sudan in neighbouring Chad. He will be accompanied by a high-ranking delegation.

U.N. agencies and humanitarian organizations in Darfur have warned of a disaster unless pressure was exerted on the Sudanese government to stop the pro-government Arab militia from attacking unarmed civilians in Western Sudan and others fleeing to Chad.

Reports from the area indicate that the strife has prevented relief assistance, clean water and medicine from reaching the sick and malnourished before the rainy season begins.

More than one million people in the region have been displaced by civil strife during the last six months.

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