AU welcomes Sudanese peace pact

Addis Ababa
Dec. 27 (dpa)

The African Unity (AU) warmly welcomed late Monday the announcement in Naivasha, Kenya by Sudanese parties that they would sign a comprehensive peace agreement on January 10 for ending two decades of conflict in southern Sudan.

The AU said it welcomed as "positive news" the progress made in the political talks in Naivasha between the government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SPLA/M).

AU Commission chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare said the peace deal would usher in a new era for the people of the Sudan and create "a conducive condition" for resolving the conflict in Darfur, according to a statement by the AU.

The statement pointed out that the two sides had already signed, under the auspices of IGAD, a series of agreements and protocols on wealth sharing, power sharing, security arrangements, as well as on the three disputed areas - Abiye, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile - as provided by the Machakos Protocol of July 2002.

It noted also that the parties, led by First Vice-President Osman Ali Taha on the Sudanese government side, and Dr. John Garang, the leader of the SPLA/M, had finalized, over the past months, the implementation modalities of the wealth sharing provision and reached agreement on two of the disputed regions.