Joint Statement by the Secretary of State for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa

The Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, today (7 June) expressed their disappointment that Abdel Wahid of the SLM/A and Khalil Ibrahim of the JEM have failed to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA); but expressed the UK government’s continued commitment to supporting implementation of the Agreement.

Hilary Benn said:

“I attended the final days of the Darfur peace talks in support of the AU mediation. The DPA contains what the rebel movements want, or a means by which to obtain it. It gives the people of Darfur a greater say in their future and provides for a substantial reconstruction package. So I regret Abdel Wahid and Khalil Ibrahim’s decision not to sign the Agreement. But there are many others who do support the DPA and who are committed to bringing peace to Darfur. They need to get on with implementing the Agreement. The UK remains determined to play its part in helping them achieve this.”

Lord Triesman of Tottenham said:

“The Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) is a good deal for Darfur and provides a basis from which its people can begin to rebuild their lives. So I am disappointed that Abdel Wahid and Khalil Ibrahim have failed to sign. However many of the key members of their groups do support the DPA. We and others in the international community will work with them, and other Darfuris who support the Agreement, to help them implement it. We have also made clear we will proceed with sanctions, under UNSCR 1591, against anyone who seeks to impede the peace process.”

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