The three-day African Union-United Nations international meeting on Darfur was drawing to its end with international facilitators expecting positive results from long days of consultations among the rebel movements present at the meeting.
Nourredine Mezni, spokesman for the African Union Mission in the Sudan, told the press waiting outside the meeting hall that the diplomats from the African Union and from the United Nations were both expecting the rebel leaders to come out of their consultations with positive results, things like common grounds on which to prepare for future negotiations with the Sudanese government.
"We have started the ball rolling," the spokesman said. "But the ball is now in their court."
When asked whether the AU-UN facilitators would give more time to the leaders of the armed movements from Darfur since some of them arrived only very late on Saturday for the three-day consultations, the spokesman said that the international facilitators were ready to extend the Arusha meeting into some extra hours on Monday.
"But it will be their decision and demand to do so," the spokesman added. "We have planned this meeting for three days. And each passing day without a positive result means a day of extra suffering of the people in Darfur."
Mohamed B. Ahmed, who arrived late on Saturday to represent the JEM movement in Darfur, told reporters that their field commanders were in Arusah in the hope that the leaders of armed movements in western Sudan could reach a consensus on at least their demands to negotiate with the government.