Darfur chief mediator begins work

Aug. 29, 2008 at 5:27 PM
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EL FASHER, Sudan, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The new head of the U.N.-African Union negotiations in the Darfur region of Sudan says his top priority is holding discussions with all parties involved.

Djibril Yipene Bassole, the U.N.-AU joint chief mediator for Darfur, has begun his new conflict resolution responsibilities in the North Darfur city of El Fasher.

Bassole says in order to find a lasting solution for peace and stability in the war-ravaged region, he must try to hold discussions with leaders of the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militia, among other rebel groups, the United Nations reported.

Bassole, who was involved in peace negotiations across West Africa, says his priority is to hold talks with all the players on the ground by creating an environment of trust in order to end the five-year-long conflict.

"We have to put mechanisms in place that will not only allow a sustained cease-fire, but will also help avoid recurrence of violent incidents," Bassole said in a statement.

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