Monday, July 03, 2006

UN: Darfur Peace Deal on Brink of Collapse

The Associated Press
Sunday, July 2, 2006; 5:43 AM

CAIRO, Egypt -- The head of the United Nations mission in Sudan said on his personal blog that the Darfur peace agreement "does not resonate with the people" and is in danger of collapse.

But Jan Pronk also wrote last week that the pact was still salvageable if revisions were made, calling it "a good text, an honest compromise." And he urged its quick implementation, saying, "it meets more and more resistance" as time passes.

The deal aimed at ending three years of bloodshed in the western Sudan region was signed May 5 by the Sudanese government and the main rebel group in Darfur, the Sudan Liberation Movement, though a dissident SLM leader and another rebel group refused to sign.

It calls for a complete cease-fire between rebels and government forces _ including a pro-government militia of Arab nomads known as the janjaweed that is blamed for most of the atrocities against ethnic African villagers.

"So far, nothing has been done. None of the deadlines agreed in the text of the agreement has been met," Pronk wrote on his blog Wednesday.

"It is no wonder that the people in Darfur get the idea that the DPA is just another text without substance, like earlier cease fire agreements, and is not meant to be kept," he said. "It is not yet too late to start implementation, but we seem to be running out of time."

Pronk said that without the peace agreement's implementation, the humanitarian situation in Darfur was worsening.

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