Home | News    Wednesday 4 January 2006

AU’s Obasanjo confirms postponement of Darfur mini-summit

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Jan 3, 2005 (ABUJA) — African Union (AU) Chairman Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday confirmed the postponement of the African mini-summit on Darfur scheduled to take place Wednesday in Tripoli.

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"The summit scheduled to take place tomorrow (Wednesday) in Tripoli, Libya, under the auspices of the AU has been postponed," Obasanjo’s spokeswoman, Oluremi Oyo, said in an official statement.

"The summit was to discuss efforts to end the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region and consider the report of the AU ad-hoc committee on the differences between Sudan and Chad," said the statement.

It did not advance any reason for the postponement.

Officials in Libya had announced the postponement earlier in the day.

A Libyan official said the change was made after calls from three of the countries due to take part — Chad, Egypt and Eritrea — without elaborating.

However, a diplomat in the Libyan capital Tripoli said that the meeting was called off because of the crisis between Sudan’s government and Ndjamena which has accused Khartoum of supporting Chadian rebels.

No new date has been set for the summit but it is now expected to take place after the Muslim feast of Al-Adha on January 10, the official said.

On Friday, Chad had made fresh claims that Khartoum was backing Chadian rebels, alleging the insurgents were given air time on Sudanese television and Sudanese nationals had been captured taking part in a recent rebel raid on a Chadian border town.

The mini-summit was to be attended by the heads of state of five countries: Sudan’s Omar al-Beshir, Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi, Nigeria’s Obasanjo, Chad’s Idriss Deby and the Central African Republic’s Francois Bozize.

The main aim of the meeting was to speed up the Darfur peace negotiations after the latest round of talks in Abuja failed to produce a breakthrough.

Talks to end the Darfur crisis are taking place in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

(AFP/ST)

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