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AUPD briefs Ethiopian Prime Minister, situations in Darfur.

Aug 7, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) -- The African Union High Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD) on Thursday held talks with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the capital, Addis Ababa, about the current situation in Sudan's western region of Darfur

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (AP)

The Panel, led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, briefed the Zenawi on the current security and humanitarian situation in Darfur as well as latest developments and efforts being taken to resolve the six-year old conflict. According to a senior official from Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs, who attended the meeting, the AUPD delegation told the premier that the security and humanitarian operation in Darfur has improved. The AUPD was established by the AU last February, to investigate and report on how to facilitate and achieve peace, reconciliation and justice with respect to the situation in Sudan and particularly in the troubled Darfur region. This was in response to the imminent issuance of arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir that came a month later. The Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) one of the major rebel groups has refused to meet with the panel saying its work is aimed at protecting Bashir from prosecution. The panel is gathering testimonies and opinion from Darfur parties and regional players on the ways that could best help in bringing lasting peace and security in Darfur. Over the last few months, the committee has consulted with leaders of Egypt, Libya and Chad on their views. Ethiopia is the latest stop for the panel. In their meeting yesterday, PM Zenawi assured the panelists that his country, Ethiopia, will remain committed to continue its support to such initiatives and to all efforts in general that help to bring lasting peace to the peoples of Sudan. Zenawi lauded AUPD's ongoing peacemaking efforts saying a visible and meaning full start. Ethiopia has deployed hundreds of troops to Sudan's UNAMID peacekeeping mission. It has also provided tactical helicopters and logistics. Last week the Ethiopian contingent force in Darfur was honored Medals in recognition to its outstanding peacekeeping role. The panel is expected to present its report next month to AU peace and Security Council. (ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Aug 8, 2009
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