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Darfur NRF to reject AU mediation if Sudan accedes to African presidency

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New AU Chairmanship will End its Mediatory Role in Darfur

The National Redemption Front (NRF) Sudan will suspend cooperation with the AU in Darfur if Albashir takes over AU Chairmanship.

Jan 16, 2007 — The African Union will hold its 9th Summit of Heads of States and Governments in Addis Ababa, January 22-30, 2007. The Summit will transfer AU Chairmanship to Albashir, the current President of Sudan. Baring an unlikely coup, the transfer is automatic given last year’s AU Chairmanship decision “Sudan shall assume Chairmanship of the African Union for the year 2007”. The transfer will have a catastrophic impact on the AU role in Darfur.

If allowed to proceed, the new portfolio will give Albashir immense influence in AU decisions and performance in its role in Darfur. Albashir will have power over all major AU policies, appointment of AU key players and down to the financing of AU peacekeepers in Darfur.

Since Albashir is party to the Darfur conflict, it will be unrealistic to expect the institution he chairs to act as a neutral arbitrator in the same conflict. It is self evident that accession of Albashir to AU Chairmanship will strip the AU of its neutrality in Darfur which is already at stake and is diminishing at a formidable pace. As non-signatory to the DPA, the NRF will be forced into one choice: to cease cooperation with the AU in all matters related to peace in Darfur and to treat the AU peacekeepers as partisan forces.

It is unreasonable to expect the NRF to take any other course of action and the international community must take note of that.

NRF Secretariat

Asmara

16/01/2007

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