KHARTOUM, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Wednesday urged the conflicting parties in Darfur to end hostilities and reach a lasting peace in the region.
In a statement, UNAMID welcomed the issuance on March 8 of a Presidential decree lifting death sentences from 66 members of Darfuri armed movements and pardoning 193 others.
"The Mission is heartened by this significant step forward which, it is hoped, will additionally reinforce the momentum of the ongoing peace process and national reconciliation," said UNAMID's Acting Joint Special Representative, Jeremiah N. Mamabolo, in the statement.
"All parties to the conflict should capitalize on this gesture with a view to end hostilities and bring about a permanent and lasting peace for the people of Darfur. UNAMID reiterates its commitment to do everything within its capacity to achieve this end," he noted.
Last Thursday, the Sudanese authorities released 259 convicts of rebel groups, some of whom were sentenced to death, just one day after a presidential pardon.
Earlier, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued pardons for 259 members of rebel movements "with the aim to enhance the spirit of national accord and prepare the climate for achieving sustainable peace in the country."