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Peace negotiator for Darfur Bassolé wants to resign

February 15 - 2010 KHARTOUM

KHARTOUM ( 15 Feb.) – The peace negotiator for Darfur on behalf of the African Union and the United Nations, Djibril Bassolé, wants to resign. He sent a letter to Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon last weekend, a trusted source told Radio Dabanga. Bassolé asks for his release starting from June onwards. Bassolé has had little support from the international community, like the Elders chaired by Thabo Mbeki, the UNAMID peacekeeping mission headed by Ibrahim Gambari and the African Union itself. Bassolé was the first joint negotiator for the AU and UN, but until now the Doha talks have seemed to be stalled. Djibril Yipènè Bassolé, age 52, started with a military career and gradually became a politician in Burkina Faso. In recent years he was active as a diplomat. Bassolé has been the Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur since August 2008. The letter of resignation comes while Bassolé is negotiating with several parties in the Darfur conflict concerning the agenda for starting real peace talks. The talks were supposed to start officially today. Bassolé mentions the political situation in his country as one of the reasons for him to return to Burkina Faso.

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