African States to Hold Darfur Summit April 20: Egypt

CAIRO, April 3 (AFP) -- Leaders from Chad, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and Sudan are to meet for a summit on April 20 in Egypt to discuss the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur, the Egyptian foreign minister said Sunday.

Monday April 4th, 2005 00:52

Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said that the summit, to take place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, would "try to give a push to efforts for a solution" in the strife-torn region.

Abul Gheit said that Egypt wanted the "continuation and completion of the Abuja peace talks" to end the conflict between the government and rebels, which has already displaced two million people since it began in February 2003.

Peace talks between the rebel groups in Darfur and the government are currently being sponsored by the African Union in the Nigerian capital Abuja but have yet to make any progress.

The talks were suspended last year following accusations by each side that the other was not abiding by the terms of an April ceasefire agreement they signed in the Chadian capital Ndjamena.

A similar five-way meeting over Darfur -- also without the presence of the rebel movements -- was held in Libya in October last year but did not produce any results.

Abul Gheit also indicated his discomfort with a UN Security Council resolution passed last week to bring individuals suspected of war crimes in Darfur before an international court.

"On Darfur, the resolutions adopted recently have created a situation that could create complications ...The international community must take care not to adopt measures or resolutions ... that lead to the opposite effect of that wanted on an international, regional or Sudanese level."

The Security Council voted on Thursday 11-0 to refer Darfur suspects to the International Criminal Court, two months after an international enquiry found evidence of war crimes in the region.

Sudan has vehemently maintained that its own legal system is capable to trying all individuals suspected of war crimes in Darfur.


Posted in: Governance
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