Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon arrived in Khartoum Monday afternoon on an official visit in Sudan, where he will hold talks with the Sudanese leaders and opposition parties on the ways of solving the current crisis in the western Sudanese region of Durfur.
During the five-day visit, the first for the UN chief in Sudan since assuming office at the beginning of this year, Ban is due to meet Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, the two vice presidents and other senior officials in the government as well as leaders of the oppositions parties.
The talks are expected to be focused on Darfur, where a number of civilians have been killed and some one million displaced since the conflict erupted in February 2003 between the government forces helped by pro-government militia and rebel movements seeking a redistribution of wealth and power with the government.
"I want to create the foundations of a lasting peace and security," Ban told a press conference in the UN headquarters last week, adding that "My goal is to lock in the progress we have made so far, to build on it so that this terrible trauma may one day cease."
Meanwhile, UN sources said that Ban Ki-moon would ask for a quick implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1769, which authorizes the deployment of 26,000-strong hybrid peacekeeping force of the UN and the African Union in Darfur before the end of this year.
During the visit in Khartoum, the UN chief is also scheduled to pay a tour in southern Sudan and Darfur.
The Sudanese government has welcomed the UN chief's visit, describing it as a "historic" visit.
The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that "it looks forward for fruitful talks with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the accompanying delegation."