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The United States welcomes the continued engagement between Chad and Sudan to normalize relations as discussed during meetings in December with Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki and Sudanese Presidential Advisor Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin.
The United States is encouraged by the decision of these two neighboring countries to implement their 2006 bilateral Security Protocol. The U.S. urges the parties to fulfill their commitments and set up an appropriate and effective border monitoring mechanism on their shared border as soon as possible.
The governments of Chad and Sudan are urged to push forward with rapid implementation of the protocol. The meeting scheduled for January 7, 2010 in N'Djamena, Chad is a positive step toward implementation. Full normalization of relations, including the ending of support for armed rebel groups on both sides, if fully implemented, remains a key element in advancing the Darfur Peace Process.
Six years after its initiation, the conflict in Darfur remains unresolved. In 2003, the National Congress Party and government-supported militia, sometimes referred to as "Janjaweed", launched a genocidal campaign that targeted ethnic groups affiliated with a brewing Darfur rebellion, leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of people and displacing some 2.7 million people and creating more than 250,000 refugees.
Unfulfilled ceasefire and peace agreements, the proliferation of rebel groups, and the involvement of regional states have prolonged the crisis and complicated international efforts to reach a peace agreement. While the intensity of the conflict has lessened since 2005, civilians continue to live in unacceptable insecurity.
Without an active peace process, a commitment to addressing accountability for crimes committed against civilians, a fully deployed, equipped, and performing United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force, and serious planning for regional recovery, the situation in Darfur will continue to fester, destabilizing the country and the region.
For its part, the United States is fully committed to peace in Darfur and supports continued improvement in Chad-Sudan relations as an important step in that process.