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UN delegation in Sudan encouraged by north-south talks
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13:09, June 05, 2008

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The UN Security Council delegation visiting Africa said on Wednesday it was encouraged by talks between representatives from north and south Sudan following the recent violence in the disputed town of Abyei.

Speaking after a second day of talks in Khartoum with senior Sudanese officials, the delegation urged Sudan to press ahead with the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government and the former southern rebels, the delegation said in a press release.

The delegation welcomed the agreement that civilians displaced by violence in Abyei can return to their homes and said it was encouraged by Sudan's acceptance that the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) can move freely in its area of operation.

Delegation members met with Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor, Presidential Advisor Nafie Al Nafie and Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha.

Abyei witnessed the most violent clashes last month between the Sudanese army and the former southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement. At least 22 people were killed and scores were injured.

Aid workers and UN and Sudanese officials described the town as devastated, with the market area burned to the ground and the majority of its population displaced.

Regarding the conflict in the Darfur region, council members welcomed signs of improved cooperation between the UN and Sudan and emphasized the importance of pressing ahead with the Darfur peace process.

Sudan is the second stop for the delegation, which has visited Djibouti and will also travel to Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d'Ivoire.


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