Home | News    Tuesday 23 November 2004

Sudanese president to attend Francophonie summit


KHARTOUM, Sudan, Nov 23, 2004 (PANA) — President Omar Hassan Ahmed el- Bashir of Sudan
will lead Khartoum’s delegation to the two-day Francophone summit which opens in Ouagadogou, Burkina Faso Thursday, an official source said here Tuesday .

About 50 heads of state and government from French-speaking countries in Africa, Asia, Europe.

Sudan News Agency (SUNA) quoted a statement issued in Khartoum by the minister of foreign affairs, Mustafa Osman Ismail, as saying this is the first time Sudan has been invited to this important political gathering.

Khartoum will use the forum to express its views on regional and international questions of mutual interest, the minister added.

The minister indicated that while in Ougadougou, President Bashir would
hold meetings with a number of heads of state and government, including
President Jacques Chirac of France, with whom he would discuss Khartoum’s
ongoing peace and Sudanese-French bilateral relations.

Sudan, Africa’s largest country, is faced with civil wars in its southern
past and the western Darfur region.

The civil war in the south has been going on since 1983 between seperatist southern rebels and the government in Khartoum, while the lates one broke out in the remote western region of Darfur in February 2003.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) has been fighting for greater autonomy from Khartoum and a greater share of the country’s
wealth for the largely Christian and animist south.

More than 2 million people have died in Southern Sudan since 1983, largely through war-induced hunger and disease.

The conflict in the Darfur region started when the government attempted to crush rebel groups who took up arms to fight for more power and resources for their under-developed region.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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