Darfur crisis over - Sudanese President

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Darfur - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday said the crisis in the Sudanese war-torn western region has ended.

During his first visit to El Fasher, capital of North Darfur State, following the signing of a ceasefire agreement, President al-Bashir said: "The Darfur crisis in now over, the war in Darfur is over.

"The armed battle has ended and here started the battle for development and rehabilitation."

The ceasefire agreement was signed between Khartoum and Darfur's rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The Sudanese government and JEM signed the long-awaited truce deal on Tuesday in the Qatari capital Doha.

The Sudanese President vowed to provide necessary services for the citizens of the region. "We promise you that the potentials which has been utilised for war in southern and eastern Sudan and Darfur will be redirected to development and rehabilitation to achieve welfare for the Sudanese people."

Many services could have been provided for Darfur, but the war stopped all development projects in the region, however, now all education, water, health and roads projects in the region will be resumed.

Al-Bashir urged the JEM leaders to contribute to the building of Darfur and appreciated all ongoing efforts to achieve peace in the region.

Devastating fighting flared in Darfur that borders Chad in 2003, between ethnic rebels and the Sudanese government forces which have left around 300 000 people dead and 2.7 million others displaced, the UN estimates.