LONDON could host Darfur peace talks under proposals being put forward by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. British officials have been in contact with the Khartoum regime and rebel groups to offer the possibility of a summit “as soon as practicable”. Downing Street revealed details of the negotiations as activists in 30 countries prepared to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the war.
A spokesman said the offer was a way to assist a speedy end to the conflict. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for the resumption of peace talks, a ceasefire that ends the violence on all sides, and a reconciliation effort that leads to a political settlement.
The development comes ahead of a Global Day for Darfur, organized by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Save Darfur Coalition. In the UK, a group of children from the war-torn province, where 200,000 have died and millions more have been displaced, will meet international development minister Shahid Malik at Number 10.
On Saturday, Harry Porter, author JK Rowling joined fellow children’s writers from around the world to call for greater protection for children living in Darfur. And protestors will gather outside the Sudanese embassy in London, where speakers will include Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, to demand an end to attacks on civilians.
Mr. Brown welcomed the start made at deploying a joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping force but said faster progress was urgently required – especially given the recent intensification in violence. – BBC