Alexander Yakovenko, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Answers a Question from Interfax News Agency Regarding the Situation in Darfur, Sudan
Question: How can you comment on media reports about the continuing violence in the western Sudanese province of Darfur?
Answer: Tension in Darfur, unfortunately, is lingering on, which in us, as we are certain in the international community as a whole, cannot but arouse serious anxiety and concern.
Russia has on more than one occasion urged the conflicting parties in Sudan to exercise restraint and to avoid actions that might provoke a degradation of the already extremely tense humanitarian situation and aggravate the plight of civilians in this area of the country.
We are certain that a solution to the situation that has evolved lies in the speediest conclusion of the talks to restore peace in this western Sudanese province.
In this connection we again reaffirm our support of efforts by the African Union to facilitate the negotiating process on Darfur that is taking place in the Nigerian city of Abuja, and call upon its participants to take a serious and responsible approach with a view to ending the suffering of civilians and achieving peace and stability in the west of Sudan as soon as possible.
December 22, 2004