U.N., Sudan work on Darfur crisis issues

Dec. 20, 2006 at 11:42 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and successor Ban Ki-moon met with the Security Council on Darfur to ensure no break in leadership, Annan said.

Besides speaking with the president of Sudan about the violence-torn region, Annan said during a news conference he sent U.N. official Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah to Khartoum to clarify an agreement with the Sudanese government on a proposed peacekeeping force.

Beginning next year, Jan Eliasson will serve as special envoy for Darfur, Annan said Tuesday.

"I am still hopeful that we shall be able to clarify the remaining issues with the Sudanese government, and that in the New Year there will be a force on the ground to bring effective protection and security to the suffering people of Darfur," Annan said.

He said humanitarian relief workers had to flee the region during the weekend.

"More people are dying every day, and will die in much larger numbers if there is not a real improvement in security very soon," Annan said.

Because of the factors contributing to the Darfur crisis, including rebel attacks, Sudan should recognize "the world will hold it primarily responsible" for the fate of its citizens, he said.

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