Minister for Foreign Affairs welcomes signature of Darfur Peace Agreement
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., has welcomed the signing of a peace agreement by the Government of Sudan and the largest rebel movement in Darfur, aimed at ending the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.
The Minister said:
“I welcome the decision by the Sudanese Government and the larger faction of the Sudanese Liberation Movement to sign the peace agreement presented by the African Union mediators. This peace agreement has come after almost two years of negotiation in Abuja, Nigeria and provides the basis for a lasting and just settlement of the appalling human tragedy which has been the Darfur conflict.”
“Achievement of a comprehensive Darfur Peace Agreement is now in sight. I would urge the two remaining rebel groups represented at the Abuja talks to make the extra effort for peace and sign the peace agreement now presented.”
“I want to commend the African Union (AU) which has shown great persistence in its mediation of the Abuja talks. The staunch support of the international community has also been a decisive factor in securing the agreement reached to date.”
“It is imperative that all sides in Darfur should now take immediate steps to improve the security situation on the ground. In particular, they must immediately move to honour all ceasefire agreements and cease any offensive military operations which may endanger civilian or humanitarian actors. I would also urge the Sudanese Government to now allow planning to proceed to facilitate transition of the current AU peace-keeping mission into a UN mission.”
“Since 2003, the people of Darfur have borne the brunt of this conflict. They now deserve a stable and peaceful future. Ireland will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people in Darfur and elsewhere it is needed in Sudan, building on the over €14 million in emergency and other recovery support already provided to Sudan since the start of 2005. We will also work with international partners to support reconstruction and reconciliation.”
“Sudan's great potential has been marred by conflict for decades. A major step has now been taken towards conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement for Darfur and towards the building of a more prosperous, democratic and peaceful Sudan.”
The Minister concluded by expressing the hope that the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement will facilitate improved access for humanitarian organisations operating in the region.
“The Government remains concerned about difficulties humanitarian organisations, including Irish NGOS, are reportedly experiencing in obtaining access to vulnerable populations in Sudan and calls on the Government of Sudan to facilitate this valuable work.”
6 May 2005