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AU Ambassador Says Peace talks On Schedule

The Darfur Peace talks in Sirte, Libya are proceeding on schedule, according to AU Ambassador.

Sam Ibok, the Ambassador and advisor to AU Special Envoy Salim Ahmed Salim, dispelled fears that the talks have stalled or been suspended.

Sources say it is difficult to assess the progress of the talks in the Libyan capital. Mediators face major difficulties due to the proliferation of rebel groups and the apparent disunity among some of them. Another troubling issue is the absence of several key rebel groups at the talks.

Speaking to VOA reporter Akwei Thompson, Ibok said “the organizers had envisaged a lapse period, after the talks opened, to allow the parties to consult and settle…”.

“This is the three week period that we had envisaged, that we were going to deal with the issues of those who did not show up, those who have shown up, but are not quite prepared in terms of organizational capacities…so the talks are going on as we had scheduled,” the Ambassador noted.

The talks are sponsored by the United Nations and the African Union and are aimed at ending the four year war in Darfur.