- A former detained leader of the Darfur rebel group, Suleiman Jamous, has been allowed by the Sudanese government to travel to Kenya for medical treatment.
This was disclosed by the United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-Moon after his meeting with President Omar al-Bashir. Mr Ki-Moon said Sudan has allowed the UN to arrange Mr Jamous’ travel.
Suleiman, a former member of Sudan Liberation Movement, has been detained by Sudanese authorities based on the role he had played in the political process.
Earlier, the envoys of both the UN and African Union, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, said they would press for the release of Suleiman.
The UN chief also travelled to the southern Sudan capital of Juba where he met the President of the area and First Vice President of Sudan, Sava Kiir. The two leaders discussed about the implementation of the January 2005 comprehensive peace agreement that ended the long-running north-south civil war.
“It is crucially important that we implement this comprehensive peace agreement,” Mr Ki-Moon said. “For that to be possible, it is again important that leaders of both north and south Sudan, President Bashir and President Kiir, are fully committed and closely coordinate.”
The UN boss said he took note of several remaining issues at dispute - demarcation, the redeployment of forces and the status of the area around Abyei. He urged “a strong political commitment” from both sides to resolve any deadlock.
Ban Ki-Moon had also met other important officials, including the staff of the UN Sudan Mission which was set up to help in the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement.
At Juba University, he told his audience that “there is still a long way to go before southern Sudan can fully recover from decades of conflict and insufficient development.” He said “for too long the international community has stood by, as seemingly helpless witnesses. That is now changing,” he said, hoping “to finalise this accord very soon and in this aim I will accelerate the negotiation process.”
He has called on the region’s people to “work as hard for peace as you did to uphold the rights of the people of southern Sudan all these years.”
Khartoum authorities have accepted the nomination of the UN Special Envoy to Sudan. Ashraf Qazi, a Pakistani of Irish origin, replaced Jan Pronk who was expelled for criticising Sudan’s handling of the Darfur crisis in his web blog.
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