Home | News    Friday 17 April 2009

US Senator Kerry says Sudan will accept new aid groups

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April 16, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — A key US senator today said that Sudan has agreed to allow new aid groups to replace the ones expelled last month out of Darfur and other parts of the country.

The chairman of the US senate foreign relations committee John Kerry speaking after meetings with Sudanese officials that some humanitarian aid for the war ravaged region of Darfur would be restored before warning that more is needed to prevent the deterioration of the situation.

Kerry said that “some of that capacity for the humanitarian assistance will be restored” but stressed that “a partial restoration of capacity is not sufficient”

“A humanitarian crisis is a humanitarian crisis” he added.

The one time presidential candidate met today with Sudan 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha, presidential assistant Nafi Nafi and was scheduled to meet with intelligence director Salah Gosh.

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) has conducted a rare extensive coverage of the lawmaker’s visit in what appears to be optimism in Khartoum of gradual normalization of relations between the two countries.

The US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration last week concluded a visit to Khartoum striking a conciliatory tone and dropping previous demands by Washington that expelled aid groups must return immediately.

Sudan has accused the ejected relief groups of collaborating with the International Criminal Court (ICC) which last month issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

The London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported that Sudanese officials told Gration said that they are willing to accept new groups on the condition that they employ local staff who previously worked with the expelled groups. However Khartoum stressed that no expelled worker will be allowed back.

SUNA said that Kerry deflected a question directed at him on whether Washington still sticks to its position on the return of the ejected aid groups and if not then would that suggest a some concessions.

The US senator was quoted as responding by saying that filling the void in Darfur and building capabilities there.

He also called on Darfur rebels to come to the negotiation table in good faith.

“What encouraged me today was the fact that every member of the government told me that they are ready to come to the table now with respect to peace discussions and achieving peace in Darfur” Kerry said.

“But we all recognized that the rebels must also do the same” he added after talks with Sudan’s second vice president Ali Osman Mohammed Taha.

Furthermore Kerry said that it is time to end the bloodshed in Darfur warning that without peace more bloody conflicts may erupt in the region.

He also stressed the importance of implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the North and South signed in 2005.

Kerry also suggested that lifting Sudan from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism and removing economic sanctions is contingent upon developments in the coming weeks.

Nafi speaking at the inauguration of electricity reaching the city Dongola in North Sudan said that his government refuses relations based on hegemony and insist on mutual respect.

This week the Sudanese president speaking at opening of the eighth session of the legislative assembly Bashir said he welcomed “positive signs” sent by Obama towards the Islamic world.

“We, our brothers and sisters, are seekers of peace and stability and we do not want our country to live under the shadows of swords and tension” he said.

“Our hands remain held out to those who call for peace and justice in accordance with the standards of fairness and dignity” Bashir added.

Observers and commentators in Sudanese newspaper this week have hinted that a deal is being “brewed” between two countries behind closed doors paving the way for full blown normalization of relations.

Previous attempt at normalization of relations under Bush administration and special envoy Williamson collapsed last June.

In 1997 former president Bill Clinton imposed comprehensive sanctions on Sudan and designated it as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The sanctions were later expanded and stiffened by subsequent US administrations. Moreover the US military launched a rocket attack against a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudanese capital suspected of manufacturing lethal nerve gas.

Relations further worsened over the Darfur conflict which Washington labeled as ‘genocide’ in 2004.

(ST)

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  • 17 April 2009 03:54, by Acid

    I hope will Washington will not give in before study all swindles play by Khartoum; they are known of saying one thing today and do another thing tomorrow!!

    repondre message

    • 17 April 2009 05:28, by Mel mosa

      You are right. They just mislead Senator. I am sure they are going to raise another issue after Senator Kerry. They don,t care because they killed millions of people but nothing bothering them. They still killing more. They just need to waste the time for those who talk about life in Darfor.

      repondre message

      • 17 April 2009 08:17, by William Okuch

        SPLM/A and NCP were and will not be the parties that present the people aspirations. Let mention one occasion to prove that. Peace nigotiations between both parties had took years. That was intentional stratgy to avoid reaching into peace agreement.

        But US and her allies had forced both parties to sign CPA for which the setting of UN Security Council for the first time was transferred to Kenya to close to the peace nigotating locations.
        For the second time now the US and her allies have to push both parties to implement the provisions of CPA for which Kerry is in Sudan now.

        Our frineds here are advising mediators not to listen to NCP. But to listen to who? To SPLM and GOSS? For what reaon to preferr them better than NCP?

        With our sincere knowledge, bad system can only be replaced with good one. Wrong person with right one and incompetent with capable person. SPLM/A and GOSS are worse entities than NCP. So US, IGAD, Southerners and all Sudanese are now forcing again both parties to adopt or implement the agreement protocols or move them by anyway possible no matter when.

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  • 24 April 2009 17:18, by darfurdaniel

    Don’t politicians ever get sick of lying to people? So now Darfur waits ...... how long for political process? Do politicians (in Sudan and elsewhere) realise that innocent people are already dying due to NGO expulsions on March 4th. March 4th people!!! And they are now discussing "possibly" replacing those expelled NGO’s. Makes you wonder how these rich $%#^’s sleep at night?

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