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Russia calls for an international conference on Darfur

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January 29, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — A visiting Russian official announced today that his government is proposing an international conference on Darfur to be held in Moscow later this year.

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Russian envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov (L) speaks to Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir January 29, 2009

The Russian special envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov told reporters following his meeting with president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir that the conference would include experts and political figures as well as all interested parties.

“We think such a summit would be a good mechanism to those who want to participate in the reviewing the positive developments in Darfur” Margelov was quoted by the Sudan official news agency (SUNA) as saying.

The Russian official said that his country is “actively engaged on Sudan issues and wants to play an active role in UN Security Council (UNSC), Africa and in world affairs”.

Margelov was appointed in this newly created position by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last December in what appeared to be growing interest in the East African country.

Russia and Sudan have stronger military relations than economic ones with the former selling weapons including fighter jets.

The envoy has made visits to Darfur and the Southern capital of Juba.

Margelov said he obtained “valuable” information that will help him make an evaluation and will convey to the Russian leadership upon his return.

He declined to state what position Russia will take on the issue of the highly expected arrest warrant to be issued by International Criminal Court (ICC) against Al-Bashir.

However he said that stance would take shape after holding consultations next month with the United States and Western Europe.

ICC judges are reviewing ten counts presented by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in mid-July that include three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused Al-Bashir of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur; Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.

Russia has voted in favor of resolution 1593 referring the Darfur crisis to the ICC. However it hinted that it is willing to support a deferral under Article 16 of the ICC Statute but did not table a resolution.

(ST)

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  • 30 January 2009 06:39, by The Nationalist

    Again another initiative?? Where is the African Union?? How can African issues be discussed in non-African fora? Qatar, now Russia, and who knows, may be Australia next? AU, can you please wake up to your responsibilities?!!
    Disappointed Nationalist!!

    repondre message

    • 31 January 2009 05:55, by angokachuil

      I appreciate what Russia is doing,the problem of Darfur is very serious problem and it could be wise if all international communities approach the matter through dialogue and diplomat, the issue of issue will make Sudan go backward and will damage many soul.

      repondre message

      • 31 January 2009 09:21, by Biden Osire

        Why appear at this last moment when warant is due to be issued when since had been quite and seeing Dafuri being killed helplessilly by this world crimminal now you need to support why not support the dying Dafuri first to show your trust.

        repondre message

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