THE ELDERS RECEIVED AT THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION / FORMER PRESIDENT OF IRELAND AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF FINLAND MET COMMISSIONER LAMAMRA

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ ? A mbassador Ramtane L amamra, Co mmissione r for Peace and Security, today received a team of Elders, m ade up of Mrs. Mary Robinson former Preside nt of Ireland and Mr. Martti Ahtisaari former Pre sident of Finland and Pe ace Nobel P rize Winner . The purpose of the visit was to discuss the outco me of the team?s visit to South Sudan.

The team expressed their appre ciation and full suppor t to the AU and the AUHIP on all efforts that have been made before and after the independence of S outh Sudan, as well as the endeavor by the A UHIP to pro mote the notion of t wo viable States. The team value d the resumpt ion of the n egotiations between both sides in Addis Ababa under the f acilitation o f the AUHIP a nd hailed th e renewed spirit of partnership disp layed by th e two parties.

The team noted the lack of funds to extend humanitaria n assistanc e to affected people in S outh Sudan, citing UNHCR estimates according to which an a mount of 186 million dollars is required for hum anitarian ass istance out of which o nly 34 million is available. Currently, only 1.2 m illion IDPs are catered for out of 4.7 t hat actually need assista nce. Mean while, a larg e number of IDPs are to be relocated o ut of camp s likely to be flooded during this rai ny season.

In reply, the Commissioner expr essed appr eciation for the timely initiative tak en by the E lders to visit South Sudan, and highli ghted the c ommitment of the AUHIP, with the collaboration of the nego tiating tea ms of both parties, to resolve the differences and all outstanding issues. Meanwhile, the Co mmissioner appealed t o the intern ational com munity to remain eng aged with Nor th and South Sudan b y providing funds for t he needed humanitarian assistance and assisting in their development. Commissioner Lama mra also va lued the close partne rship between AU, IGAD and the UN in fostering peace, coo peration an d good neighborly rela tions between the Republic of Sudan and the Rep ublic of Sou th Sudan, stressing that the celebration of the 1s t anniversar y of South Sudan?s independence s hould be an opportunit y to reinforce the resolve to collectively work to ac hieve these objectives.

SOURCE?

African Union Commission (AUC)

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