TOKYO, Aug 26, 2004 (Kyodo) — Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail will visit Japan Sept. 5-9 for talks on the conflict in the African nation’s Darfur region, ministry sources said.
Ismail is expected to meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi on what the United Nations says is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The Japanese government has suspended economic assistance to Sudan since 1992 on the grounds of human rights violations by the military junta and still does not believe that circumstances warrant a resumption of such assistance, the sources said.
But Japanese officials are willing to consider emergency or other humanitarian assistance if the Sudanese government makes some progress in resolving the conflict such as disarming militias, the sources said.
There has long been tension in Darfur between Arabs and black Africans.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 1 million have been displaced since February 2003, when African rebels rose against the government, which they say is persecuting them. Arab militias also started assaulting Africans indiscriminately.