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US pledges to help Darfur rebels

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  • ummyakoub
    US envoy pledges to help Darfur rebels unite Sunday, August 23, 2009 http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/08/us-envoy-pledges-to-help-darfur-rebels.html ADDIS
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 24, 2009
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      US envoy pledges to help Darfur rebels unite
      Sunday, August 23, 2009
      http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/08/us-envoy-pledges-to-help-darfur-rebels.html


      ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – The United States on Saturday pledged to help the myriad rebel groups in the strife-torn Sudanese region of Darfur to unite after four groups agreed to join forces in the Ethiopian capital.

      Three factions that broke away from the Sudan Liberation Army led by Paris-based Abdelwahid Mohammed Nur and a fourth group, the United Resistance Front announced the deal on Saturday following mediation by US envoy Scott Gration.

      "I can tell you that we are behind this reunification effort. We will do what it takes to make it successful," Gration said.

      "I look forward to working with all of these leaders in the future as we bring together the rebel movements that we have here today and those that are yet to be unified," he added.

      Gration, a longstanding political ally of President Barack Obama, praised the groups for "a remarkable job in reaching an agreement" in a short time.

      "What I've seen with these groups is that they are working so hard to ensure that we learn from past attempts to reunify, to get peace; and this time to make it lasting and durable," he said.

      The US envoy joined the talks on Friday after saying that forging a common platform among the two dozen rebel splinter groups was a prerequisite to successful peace talks.

      The deal, which was signed on Thursday, days after consultations kicked off in Addis Ababa, "creates a committee which will continue consultation with the remaining factions of the SLM/A in order to complete the unification during a broad and inclusive assembly to be held in Darfur," a statement said.

      "Following this unification, they commit to enter negotiations with the (Khartoum) government," it added.

      Ahmed Abdelshafi Toba, chairman of one faction, said issues of leadership were not part of the agreement but would be discussed once all groups agree to join forces.

      "That issue will be decided during the next comprehensive meeting. There are two SLA factions remaining and we will work to unify ourselves," the Kampala-based leader told AFP.

      The war in Darfur has displaced 2.7 million since 2003, according to UN figures. Khartoum says 10,000 died in the war.

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