Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the agreement signed by the Sudanese Government and the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) aimed at ending the conflict in Darfur and called on the groups that have not yet joined the peace process to do so.
The deal, signed yesterday in the Qatari capital of Doha, indicates a commitment on the part of the Government and the LJM to the draft document that will form the basis of a permanent ceasefire and a comprehensive peace agreement to end the fighting that began eight years ago.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban welcomed the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, and acknowledged the support of the Government of Qatar to the negotiations that led to the agreement reached yesterday.
"The Secretary-General appeals to the Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid and the Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi to join the peace process," the statement added, referring to the other rebel groups.
Since 2003, when the deadly conflict erupted in Darfur between rebels, Government forces and allied militiamen, an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and about 2.7 million others have been displaced.