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African Union Peace and Security Council Delegation Arrives in Khartoum

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (SUDANOW)- An African Union Peace and Security Council delegation arrived in Khartoum on Wednesday to get a first hand information on the situation in Darfur.

Headed by ambassadress Nayeme Ezize, the delegation visit comes as part of consolidating cooperation between the Sudan and the regional and international organizations, Sudan's ambassador to the AU, Osman Nafie told reporters at the airport.

He said the visit would provide the delegation with an opportunity to assess the situation in the Sudan, on general, and in Darfur, in particular.

Nafie added that the delegation will hold talks with the Sudanese government officials, focusing on the situation in Darfur and the government efforts for reaching peace and stability there.

They will visit North Darfur for assessment of the security and humanitarian situation there, Ambassador Nafie said.

Sudan has recently been arguing that the 20,000 man strong peace keeping mission in Darfur, the largest peace mission in the globe, was no longer needed as peace has prevailed and that the current disturbances were caused by some "unruly" elements, not a genuine rebellion situation.

The government also complained it was providing protection for UNAMID personnel in place of their providing security and protection for the civilians there as its mandate requires.

A tri-partite committee comprising the government of the Sudan, United Nations and the African Union , was formed to assess the situation and to propose a strategy for the exit of the force which will be submitted to the UN, the AU and the government of Sudan to see how the phasing out would be carried out.

The delegation visit to the country comes a few weeks before the meeting of the UN general assembly and the Security Council which will be briefed on the security and peace situation in the Sudan and in Darfur in particular.

On Wednesday the delegation called on the Chairman of Darfur Regional Authority, Dr. Tijani al-Sisi, in Khartoum. Sisi briefed the visitors on the situations on the region indicating that humanitarian and security situation has witnessed a huge improvement and that the rebel existence was totally receded.

He assured the delegation that the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees could now safely return to their home areas.

The delegation renewed, according to statements by the Authority spokesman Dr. Abdul Karim Musa, support for Doha Peace Agreement in Darfur. Sisi urged the Council to exert pressure on the rebel movements leaders to join peace process.

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