Home | News    Wednesday 10 November 2004

African Union names career diplomat as its pointman to troubled Sudan

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Baba Kingibe

ADDIS ABABA, Nov 10 (AFP) — The African Union (AU) has named a Nigerian diplomat as its special envoy in Sudan, where he will head the pan-African body’s peace mission to the country’s war-ravaged Darfur region, an official statement said on Wednesday.

Baba Gana Kingibe, who is also representing AU in peace talks between Khartoum and southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Kenya, held several ministerial portfolios in Nigeria between 1993 and 1998.

The Nigerian diplomat has also been involved in peace mediation in Chad, Liberia and Congo, the AU statement added.

Kingibe’s appoinment follows a decision in October by the AU to increase the size of its mission in Sudan (AMIS) seven-fold to 3,320 personnel to boost security in Darfur, a region in western Sudan that has been ravaged by a conflict since February 2003.

Massive civilian displacement began in Darfur soon after fighting broke out in February 2003 between rebels and government forces and allied militia called Janjaweed.

Tens of thousands of people have since died as a result and more than 1.5 million forced to flee their homes.

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