Despite challenges, UN official sees hope and opportunity in Darfur

11:41, February 12, 2010      

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While the challenges in Sudan's Darfur remained enormous, there was hope and opportunity that the coming year would bring positive changes for the region, a senior official said Thursday.

Dmitry Titov, assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, made the remarks to the UN Security Council as he presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's latest report on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

He said that at the present critical time, the international community would speak with one voice, urging all stakeholders to work towards a democratic transformation of Sudan, including a peaceful political resolution in Darfur.

The security situation in Darfur continued to be marked by sporadic fighting among rebel forces as well as between government forces and rebel movements, Titov said.

The United Nations was deeply concerned, in particular, over the killing of five UNAMID peacekeepers during the reporting period, he said.

The mission would continue to maximize the safety of its personnel, while also establishing a robust, proactive presence throughout Darfur, he stressed.

Titov also expressed belief that the challenges facing Darfur must be met within a national context.

"The conflicts in Sudan, which have a primarily internal structure, cannot be solved in a piecemeal fashion or by addressing primarily external factors," he said.

Core issues such as power- and wealth-sharing required a comprehensive and farsighted approach that took into account the interests of all stakeholders, particularly those too long marginalized by the conflict, he said.

He said Sudan had reached a critical juncture as it entered the final year of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, with national elections scheduled in less than two months and the referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan in less than a year.

Source: Xinhua
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