UNITED NATIONS, July 6 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the signing in Nigeria of a preliminary agreement between the Sudanese government and rebel factions.
The latest accord, signed Wednesday, was aimed at ending the 2-year-old civil war, which has seen at least 180,000 people die and has displaced nearly 2 million others in the country's Darfur province.
In a statement read out by his spokesman at U.N. World Headquarters in New York, the secretary-general welcomed the signing in Nigeria's capital of Abuja, by the Sudanese government, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement. The agreement was called a "Declaration of Principles for the Resolution of the Conflict in Darfur."
"The declaration signals the parties' intention to bring to an end the conflict in Darfur," said Annan's statement. "The secretary-general congratulates African Union mediator Salim Ahmed Salim and the U.N. team which participated in the negotiations on the successful conclusion of this stage."