Home | News    Tuesday 15 December 2009

Egypt cancels hosting of France-Africa summit over Bashir’s presence dispute

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December 15, 2009 (PARIS) – The Egyptian government announced today that it has decided to cancel its hosting of the 25th France-Africa summit after failing to settle the dispute with Paris over the issue of inviting the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes committed in Darfur.

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France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak arrive for a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris December 14, 2009 (Reuters)

The Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit told the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper in an interview that president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy discussed the matter in Paris during a working lunch at the Elysee.

Aboul-Gheit said that both sides agreed to move the summit venue to France which would effectively mean that Bashir will stay away for fear of being arrested on the territory of an ICC state party.

But other sources told the newspaper that Aboul-Gheit and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner will meet later to agree on the “place and date” of the summit.

The participation of the Sudanese president in the summit has been subject of intense diplomatic wrangling between Cairo and Paris over the last few months. France dispatched its interior minister Brice Hortefeux last October to seek exclusion of Bashir from the summit.

European Union (EU) rules prohibit its members from engaging into contacts with an individual indicted by the ICC.

Last week, France’s Le Monde newspaper quoting officials at the Elysee palace said that Sarkozy is adamant about not inviting Bashir to the conference.

The officials speaking to the Le Monde said that “if Omar Al-Bashir is invited then Nicolas Sarkozy can not be present. Without his presence, there is no Africa-France summit”.

However, the newspaper said that Paris proposed a compromise in which the summit would be split in two parts, first at the ministerial level, focused on discussing economic issues with the absence of French officials, followed by a meeting of heads of state to which the Sudanese president would not be invited.

But Egypt has apparently rejected the proposal pushing the disagreement to the meeting between Sarkozy and Mubarak which took place in Paris today.

The list of events Bashir has skipped since the ICC warrant keeps growing. He has turned down several invitations in the last few months to attend events in Uganda, Nigeria, Venezuela, Denmark, Turkey, South Africa and US for fear of arrest.

This month the ICC prosecutor told the UN Security Council (UNSC) that Bashir cancelled appearances showed that he was facing increasing isolation and “sends a clear message [that] President al-Bashir will face justice”.

Richard Dicker, an international justice expert at the New York-based Human Rights Watch, agreed with the ICC prosecutor’s assessment, telling Reuters that “Bashir’s world is getting smaller and smaller”.

The decision by Cairo to forfeit the hosting of the summit is an extremely rare event in Egyptian diplomacy which is historically well known for its aggressiveness in seeking to assert its role as a respected regional power and the favorite spot for international conferences.

Egypt was one of the first countries to roll out the red carpet for Bashir following the issuance of the ICC arrest warrant in an act of solidarity with its southern neighbor.

However, the Egyptian move is likely not a carte blanche but rather driven by growing political and economic interests in Sudan.

Sudan has witnessed a huge influx of Egyptian labor in recent years needed to keep up with the booming economy thanks to a steady flow of oil revenues. The most populous Arab country is hugely dependent on remittances from Egyptians expatriates abroad as one of its hard currency sources.

Cairo is also relying on Khartoum’s backing in its confrontation with Nile basin countries which has stepped up their demands for amending the water sharing agreements signed in 1929 and 1959. Egypt is extremely sensitive to any talk about modifying its share in the Nile water with some officials saying that this amounts to a declaration of war warranting military action.

Yesterday the Egyptian irrigation minister Mohamed El-Din Allam said that both countries are “standing in the same front” in the negotiations with other Nile basin countries.

With almost 80 million people, Egypt’s water demands are projected to exceed its supply by 2017, according to a government reported published earlier this month.

Egyptian officials are also worried about the upcoming referendum in 2011 for Southern Sudanese as a vote for secession it might further impact its share in the Nile waters.

Another outstanding issue between the two countries is the dispute over the border area of Halayeb. Last October the Sudanese electoral commission announced that the residents of Halayeb will be allowed to register as voters in the elections but Cairo informally warned Khartoum to refrain from taking any actions in the area.

A few weeks later the Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Ismail visited Cairo and downplayed the dispute saying that the electoral commission did not consult with the government before making its decision.

Last week Egyptian authorities have reportedly barred the Sudanese presidential assistant Musa Mohamed Ahmed from entering the area.

(ST)

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  • 15 December 2009 04:08, by Dinka Boy

    criminal Bashier is acoward person.
    He fears being arrested while he was intersting in darfur genocide.
    The man is the criminal that need to be arrested and hang.

    repondre message

    • 15 December 2009 07:12, by Lukudu

      To hell with Egypt. It is one of those nations that is against the well being of Southern Sudanese. Egypt is what we call (Lomurkutuk). It tries to be bitter with Sudan over the issues of Halayeb and bitter over South Sudan separation due to the Nile waters. Egypt on the other hand sticks behind Beshir to gain from abundant Sudanese natural resources but is also greedy over the land at Halayeb. It can cancel the summit not Beshir’s arrest and can not stop the world of good people from going on. France will host the summit with and without the presence of Egypt and Sudan.

      repondre message

    • 15 December 2009 22:08, by Gatnyatuach

      - 
      Are you real southern Sudanese? Why are bitter at President Al Bashir more than you do for to those of Sadiq and Turabi and they were the one recruited the popular defence against SPLA!

      You are being used by Sadiq and who is not happy with CPA that will grantee southerners their right for self-determination?

      Anyone who is against Al Bashir who gave peace a chance in Sudan, could be simply considered to be against the CPA! Logically do you really predict what would have happened to the CPA if President Al Bashir were prosecuted? ICC is fighting its war not our war! they wanted to prosecute Al Bashir not because of the war crimes in Darfur region, instead they do that because they are not happy with the advancement Al Bashir is doing in Sudan! they, including Egypt want us to depend on them, they don’t want to see us developing and become like them, wake up!

      repondre message

  • 15 December 2009 04:19, by truth to be told in southsudan

    Al-Basher days are numbered. what a shame is to al-basher.
    Riek Machar will be the next. Anyone with cold blood in his/her will never skip justices. it is just matter of time.

    repondre message

  • 15 December 2009 04:22, by David_N

    The Egypt should forcus on Francophone-Africa meeting in Cairo, Egypt. Then without Egypt, there is no Francophone-Afrique meetings, so if France rejects inviting Khartoum’s Al-Bashier, tell them to go back and do your business somewhere in West African Bantu colonies, like Ivory Coast.

    It really no matter without France here or not...
    This message to "sexxx-lazy" for the Warning of Global Trendy.

    repondre message

    • 15 December 2009 07:01, by Lukudu

      David, you have nothing in mind to tell the public. Correct yourself and ask yourself questions before appearing in the world of intellectuals.
      Are you supporting Beshir or what is your argument about?

      repondre message

      • 15 December 2009 13:36, by David_N

        Lukudu,

        You have no business speaking against my business!
        Don’t even judge me telling what to do.

        repondre message

  • 15 December 2009 04:54, by Samson Shawel Ambaye

    God be with Right Honorable President Nicholas Sarkozy. Right Honorable President Nicholas Sarkozy is President of the year for helping democracy and human rights in Africa.

    There are also other Bashirs condemning arrest warrant of ICC and protecting Bashir and inviting him to fly to their crime zones.

    ICC’s most wanted al-Bashir visits Ethiopia April 28th, 2009 Why????????

    Ethiopia’s Regional governor blasts ICC’s decision as "madness" 26 April 2009 President of the government of the national regional state of Tigray slammed decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) up on the Sudanese president as insane. Why?????????????

    Ethiopia has also her Bashir and Ethiopians need help of France like Sudanese people to bring genocide criminals before ICC court.

    God be with Right Honorable President Nicholas Sarkozy for helping Ethiopia like Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 15 December 2009 06:43, by Wende Yongaptheeth

      Egypt cannot intimidate France as it is intimidating South Sudan from her independent.

      Egypt can not and should not protect criminal Al Beshir.
      These white washed Roman-Greek Nubians called Egyptians are messing the international scene and they will pay heavily.

      This time round, America is going to cut that grand which they give to Egypt and these desert rats called Egyptians will die like cockroaches.

      repondre message

      • 15 December 2009 06:46, by Wende Yongaptheeth

        look how ugly Hosni Mubarak is, he is so chunky, bulky, trashy and looks like a hippotamous. Fat ass white washed Nubian. His mind is as chunky and bulky like his body.

        repondre message

        • 15 December 2009 08:30, by mike

          Bashire days are numbers, it is a matter of time before he stand trial at Huag with those Charles Tylor and that day will be celebrated all over Sudan as National Holyday and than we will wait for the second criminal to be arrasted I mean Rick Michar. Since the begining of the stuggle untile the signing of the CPA, Dr. Rick have killed thousnad of Sudanese dircetly and some indirectly so soon he is going face justice here in Sudan or at Huge (Netherland).

          repondre message

        • 15 December 2009 09:31, by telfajbago

          It’s great symbolic victory to the victimized IDPs and refugees and the marginalized groups in Sudan,who annoyed and some of the lost faith on the justice by seeing indicted President traveling freely, challenging every body and some times calling names ,regardless of the general prosecutor’s passionate plea for the countries to arrest the criminal .President Sarkozy these people owe you a big thanks for your gallant responsible move to cancel the summit if the fugitive El Bashir is to attend.It will be insulting to the spirit of justice,to let El Bashir who committing genocide against his people in Darfur ,attend International summits and Conferences mingling freely and shaking hands with respected head of states and International representatives, whose proper place suppose to be cells of Hague.We appeal to all heads of states and the peace lovers every where to take the same stands of President Sarkozy,in order to isolate the criminals.The victims of the genocide are counting on you to prove by action your moral and spiritual support to them.

          repondre message

        • 17 December 2009 12:44, by mohamad adam

          to wendi younabteeth
          your name should be changed to abo teez ang dirtu ass which has never been washed with water but only grass
          ugly boy how can you say hosni mobarak is ugly yet silvakeer face can scare even the dirty pig what a shame

          repondre message

  • 15 December 2009 08:59, by Akuma

    Indictment of Bashir can’t be solved by Arabs or International communities. It was international influent but implementations of it will be on Sudanese’s hand.

    Dr. Akuma, Chicago USA

    repondre message

  • 15 December 2009 09:00, by Time1

    It is good the meeting has been cancelled, Egypt is not qualified to host such an important meeting or countries, they support the war criminals like Bashir is not good for such conferences, Egypt itself should be banned from that conference together with their war crimnals friend Bashir.

    repondre message

  • 15 December 2009 10:52, by Hillary B.M.L,M

    In My Administration as the 3rd President of Christian Democratic Republic of South Sudan (CDRSS) i would not shake hands with my Egyptian counterpart at that Time simply because Egypt act as Ambassador for all Muslims Countries, whenever the name of Muslim Country is involve, Egypt is there to mediate or negotiate on its behave. This is a silly practice in my future Administration, they should learn new culture right now otherwise we would consider it anti-Christian Country and consequently will be isolated.

    Hilary the Hilarious human being. Enjoy, you who like it.

    repondre message

  • 15 December 2009 14:43, by Piny Amec Abethool-Jesus

    To the Old Fox Hosni Mubarak, Donkey Horse Towel(Omaar Hosaan Beskir) and their blind supporters

    Everyday brings nearer Omaar Hosaan Beskir’s death and Hosni Manuol’s defeat. My prayer is that everyday will bring a defeat to the enemy of peace. New Sudan will no longer be rule by devil. The old Sudan of Omaar Hosaan (NCP) and his sir Hosni Manuol must give way to the New Sudan of SPLM, or we will have no Sudan. Those who think that the vision of the "New Sudan" is death are either members of NCP or just love to be slaves and servants forever.

    Every wise president is using the word "New" except Omaar Hosaan and Hosni Manuol are still using the word "OLD". Most leaders are talking about the "New World Order", but only Omaar Beskir and Hosni Manuol do not want to mention the word "New", new government or "New World order" where respect for human rights and the protection of all citizens are the responsibilities of the president.

    Jesus will bless Mr president Sarkozy for his stance on ICC decision and support for justice, freedom and human rights in Sudan and around the world. Sudanese people will never forget what you have done. We Sudanese people do love everyone and welcome everybody to be our friend. Jesus will reward you. we have given you a credit for your stance. We believe that the existence of NCP in Sudan is a disgrace to the Sudanese people and Africa as whole.

    Egypt cannot serve to masters evil (Omaar Hosaan) and good (Sarkozy). It is great that Egypt is losing it’s power everyday in Africa, Europe and Middle East, too. look, in sport Egypt was defeated by South Africa in hosting the 2010 world cup. In politics and economic affairs Egypt failed to host France -Africa summit. In the issue of Darfur, Darfurian liberators reject Egypt’s mediation.Egypt will only make business with Palestinians issues, but not with the Sudanese issues any more.

    From today the people of Sudan divorced Hosni Manuol and Omaar Hosaan because these two men are being used by Satan to kill their own people. Hosni Manuol thinks he can manipulate President Sarkozy the way he manipulates Omaar Hosaan. Enough is enough for the devil to kill our people! Hosni mauol and Omaar Hosaan will go to hell no matter what full stop

    Piny Amec Abethool

    repondre message

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