American envoy eyes peace in Darfur

Salah Khalil, Monday 13 Dec 2010

American envoy Scott Gration met with Governor of Darfur to discuss peace, as rebel groups begin to lose ground in the once war-torn region

Following a meeting with local officials and civilian groups in Darfur, the American envoy, Scott Gration, emphasised his country's continuing commitment to peace.

Gration, accompanied by a delegation of American Embassy diplomats and representatives from the United Nations and the Sudanese government, met with Governor Dr Abdel Hamid Kasha and told journalists that the facts on the ground in Darfur match what the governor and officials had told him.

He was further encouraged by hearing both civilians and the authorities state their desire to see peace achieved.

"The future of Darfur could be bright if the concerns of existing parties, citizens and the civil administration are taken into account," said Gration.

Gration also took time to listen to a number of citizens and merchants in Nyala market during a visit there yesterday. The people's desire for peace was confirmed to him at a meeting with Civilian Administration leaders who demanded to be involved in a solution to the Darfur issue.

The meeting also touched upon humanitarian and security issues. Kasha added that the displaced communities need aid from humanitarian organisations.

Kasha also took a swipe at the Civil Administration's leaders for their failure to prevent friction in the state. He renewed what he had said in his address at the signing ceremony for tribal reconciliation in the city of Daein, namely that his government was committed to the voluntary handing in of weapons in South Darfur within a set period of time. He indicated that after this time has elapsed he will refer the matter to the judiciary to regulate the carrying of arms.

In other developments, the joint Sudanese-Chadian forces confirmed that the border between the two countries was secure after the liberation of the Karyari station from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and other Chadian opposition.

A senior military source in the joint security forces attributed the stability to a comprehensive search carried out by them alongside armed forces in Darfur.

The results of the search lead to the liberation of the Karyari region which acts as the main outlet for the JEM forces and Chadian opposition groups. The source confirmed that the region is now completely under the authority of the joint Sudanese-Chadian forces.

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