Press Releases

    SG/SM/8446
    AFR/500
    21 October 2002

    SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES SIGNING OF MEMORANDUM
    OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN GOVERNMENT OF SUDAN AND
    SUDAN PEOPLE'S LIBERATION MOVEMENT


    NEW YORK, 18 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General welcomes the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to cease hostilities by the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on 15 October in Machakos, Kenya, and the resumption of peace talks under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

    The Secretary-General commends the parties for committing themselves to allow unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas and for people in need, in accordance with the Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) Agreement and calls upon them urgently to agree on modalities for such unimpeded access. The Resident/ Humanitarian Coordinator and Country Team are at an advanced stage of preparing a humanitarian action plan that will expand operations to all areas of the Sudan that have been affected by the conflict. The success of the plan will depend on immediate and unimpeded access to all civilians in need.

    The Secretary-General is concerned about reports that hostilities may be continuing in some parts of the country and that such activities could once again jeopardize the important talks under way at Machakos. The progress that has been made so far has raised the hope of the people of the Sudan and of the international community that a milestone may have been reached in the IGAD-led effort to restore peace to the country.

    The Secretary-General appeals to the Sudanese parties to pursue the negotiations in earnest and to ensure that agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the devastating conflict in the country is reached without further delay. He reiterates the support of the United Nations to the peace process and its readiness to contribute to efforts to implement a peace agreement.

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