Canada Encouraged by Armed Group’s Return to Darfur Ceasefire Negotiations

(No. 405 - December 21, 2010 - 4:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement welcoming the commitment made by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), an influential Darfuri armed group, to negotiate a ceasefire with the Government of Sudan and expressing Canada’s hope this will lead to a comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement:

“The return of the Justice and Equality Movement to the negotiating table in Doha is an encouraging sign in the efforts to reach a sustainable peace agreement for Darfur. Negotiating an immediate end to hostilities is a critical step in stabilizing Darfur and creating the right conditions for full peace talks.

“Canada commends the United Nations-African Union Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Djibrill Ypènè Bassolé, for his skilful leadership in guiding the parties back to the negotiating table. Canada also commends the Government of Qatar for playing an invaluable role in this process and providing an appropriate and neutral venue where negotiations can take place.

“Canada will continue to support these efforts to achieve a sustainable peace and create a better and more stable future for the people of Darfur. We encourage both the Government of Sudan and the JEM to negotiate in good faith and to abide by the ceasefire agreement once it is reached.

“Canada’s main objective in Darfur, and in all of Sudan, is long-term peace and stability.”

Sudan is one of Canada’s foreign-policy priorities. Canada has contributed over $800 million for peace, humanitarian assistance, development aid, security and peacebuilding in Sudan since 2006. For more information on Canada’s engagement in Sudan, please consult Canada: Active in Sudan.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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