U.N. welcomes Darfur peace acccord

UNITED NATIONS, May 5 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomes the peace agreement signed between Sudan and the main rebel group at the inter-Sudanese talks in Abuja, Nigeria.

"I urge the other two parties to seize this historic moment and sign the agreement that will bring this tragic chapter in the history of Sudan to an end," he told reporters at U.N. World Headquarters in New York late Friday afternoon.


"The implementation of the agreement, once concluded, would require that we immediately begin to strengthen the African Union force on the ground so that they can begin implementation of the critical aspects of the agreement," he said. "We would also need to intensify our own humanitarian efforts, and we need the resources required to do this, and as you know we have so far received only 20 percent of the resources required."

Reminded he had received assurances two years ago Khartoum would disarm the Janjaweed militia and allow people of Darfur to return to their homes, Annan was asked what made him feel this accord would work.

"I hope all concerned know the implications of inaction," the secretary-general said. "Honestly, I have said time and time again that if the government of Sudan had been able to protect the people of Sudan, all the discussions about a U.N. force or an international force would be irrelevant."


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