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Norwegian minister of International Development to have talks with parties to the peace negotiations on Sudan


OSLO,Oct. 24, 2003 (M2 PRESSWIRE) — Norwegian minister of International Development Hilde F. Johnson will be in Nairobi, Kenya, this weekend for talks with the parties to the IGAD-led peace negotiations on Sudan.

The Minister will also take part in the IGAD summit in Kampala, Uganda, on 24-25 October as one of the few representatives from a Western country. Norway currently holds the chairmanship of the Sudan Committee in the IGAD Partner Forum, an international group set up to support IGAD, which is the regional co-operation organisation for the countries in the Horn of Africa.

The Minister will also have talks with some of the heads of state and government attending the summit, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zemawi. The talks will focus particularly on the peace negotiations in Sudan.

IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) is an organisation comprising the seven north African countries Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

IGAD was first established in 1986 under the name Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) as a regional organisation for co-ordinating efforts to combat desertification. During a summit meeting in April 1995, it was decided that the organisation should be revitalised and its mandate enlarged to cover a broader range of political and economic issues in the region. IGAD as we know it today was formally established the following year. The IGAD secretariat has its headquarters in Dijbouti. IGAD is leading the current peace negotiations for Sudan and Somalia.

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