Britain pledges financial support for Sudanese cease-fire

London, UK
March 6, (PANA)

Britain has pledged one million US dollars for international monitoring of the cease-fire in the Nuba Mountains in Sudan.

The announcement followed a meeting in London Wednesday, between British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and the leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), John Garang.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Straw enjoined the warring factions in Sudan to seek ways of ending the conflict.

"I was glad to meet Dr John Garang and his colleagues today," he said, adding "I urge them to work with all the factions in Sudan to find a way of ending the conflict and suffering which has blighted the country for nearly two decades."

The Foreign Secretary said the international community was ready to help, and that Britain had appointed a Special Representative to support peace efforts, adding "we have also pledged 1 million dollars for international monitoring of the cease-fire in the Nuba Mountains."

Britain's Special Representative to Sudan, Alan Goulty, also added that he was discussing the way forward with Sudanese of all political views and with other governments concerned.

"There is widespread war-weariness in Sudan. The challenge is to turn this into a desire to make peace," he said.

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the pursuit of a lasting peace agreement in Sudan remains a priority and Britain sees the unending war in the country as the prime cause of the suffering of its people.

"We have long regarded the peace process being pursued by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is a grouping of the seven neighbouring countries in the area, as the best chance to bring an end to the fighting through a negotiated settlement," it said in a statement.

"The pursuit of a lasting peace agreement in Sudan remains a priority and the British Government, together with the international community, continues to be active in trying to find a solution to the problems there, working with IGAD."