Home | News    Saturday 9 May 2009

Billionaire’s foundation forced to cancel Darfur conference

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May 8, 2009 (LONDON) — The foundation of Mo Ibrahim, a British telecom tycoon of Sudanese origin, cancelled a conference for civil society figures from Darfur, alleging that the government was obstructing their arrangements for the conference in Ethiopia.

“Mandate Darfur” was an effort for civil society figures to establish common positions toward reaching a negotiated solution for Darfur. The conference scheduled for May 12-16 in Addis Ababa would have brought together some 300 representatives from across the region, the biggest ever assembly of the Darfurian civil society.

However, today in a statement the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said “After many months of working with Darfurian civil society to build a mandate for peace, we regret to acknowledge that the Sudanese government is obstructing the safe passage of Darfurian delegates from Sudan, forcing us to cancel the conference.”

“Despite numerous attempts at engagement with the Sudanese government, including sending a delegation to Khartoum and inviting senior figures to address the conference, we were greatly disappointed that Sudanese security services harassed our delegates, confiscated passports and threatened the conference coordinators in Sudan. Ultimately, the government has refused to grant exit visas to the delegates making it impossible for the conference to proceed,” stated the Board.

Noting that from the beginning Mandate Darfur has endeavoured to engage with the Sudanese government, the Board questioned why the government perceives the conference as acting against it.

According to Mandate Darfur, the conference would have genuinely represented Darfur from across all geographic, ethnic, religious and political backgrounds, including traditional and young leaders and a strong contingent of Darfurian women.

The initiative is supported by the African Union, the Arab League, the United Nations, the European Union and a wide spectrum of former African leaders. Members of the foundation’s Board are Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Lalla Ben Barka, Lord Cairns, Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, Mary Robinson, Salim Ahmed Salim and Nicholas Ulanov.

(ST)

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  • 9 May 2009 06:39, by junub

    Concelling of conference is what the government needs, so technically the government is winner and so the losers are the Darfur people.

    repondre message

    • 9 May 2009 22:46, by Mr. Moto Moto

      Those wannabees in SPLM who are always fighting for power should find fighting for the lifting of all restriction on travel for all sudanese a noble endevour because it is just disgusting and total disgrace. I and a fellow southern were subjected to what amounts to harrasment at Khartoum Airport. Besides this you have to pay for exit visa, total morons. I wonder where some south Sudanese get the guts to support the very people who brought and continue to cause untold suffering to most of the Sudanese people.
      Sorry Darfur

      repondre message

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