US Envoy to Sudan to travel to Qatar and Darfur

July 12, 2010 (Washington) — US special envoy to Sudan Major General (Ret) Scott Gration will travel to Qatar and Darfur this month for more consultations on peace and other important initiatives, according to a statement released to media.

Gration expressed his disappointment over recent violence in Darfur; he calls upon the government of Sudan and Darfur rebel forces to refrain from violence, and urged the African Union/United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to protect the people of Darfur.

“The recent spike in casualties caused by increased fighting between the Government of Sudan and JEM is deeply troubling. I’m also gravely concerned about reports of continued banditry, assaults, and gender-based violence targeting civilians, as well as recent kidnappings of peacekeepers and humanitarian workers”, Gration wrote.

In Qatar, he will meet with representatives of Abdul Wahid al-Nur’s Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) to discuss what he described as “all step possible ” to improve the security and living conditions of people of Darfur.

It will be his sixth trip to Doha, Qatar.

After meeting with SLM representatives, he will then head to El Fasher to consult with organizations “that will build the capacity of Darfuri development NGOs, identify opportunities for reconciliation activities, and conduct outreach to internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, and Arab and nomadic tribes to ensure their voices are heard in the peace process”.

Gration will also discuss agriculture and education projects.

The US envoy acknowledges the importance of maintaining peace through joint interest and cooperation.

“Partnership and collaboration are essential to our efforts in the region, and I’m working closely with the African Union, United Nations, Arab League members, and my fellow Envoys from the UK, EU, France, Russia, and China to ensure success”, he wrote.

The American special envoy to Darfur said the international community is planning for January 9, 2011 – he is referring to referendum on South Sudan independence.

Last week, world envoys to Darfur met in El Fasher to find peaceful solution to Darfur conflict but the United States refused to participate in the meeting.

Britain and Norway also boycotted the conference raising concerns on future of Darfur peace process.

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