July 3, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration will not be present at a meeting for international envoys that will be held in North Darfur’s capital city of El-Fasher, sources tell Sudan Tribune.
Among the attendees is the Chinese envoy to Africa Liu Guijin, Russian envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov, joint United Nations and African Union mediator Dijibril Bassole along with officials from the Arab League and Europe.
Sudan state media said that the purpose of the meeting is to review the security and humanitarian situation the war ravaged region and evaluate the progress of the political process that is currently underway in the Arab Gulf state of Doha.
Today the Chinese envoy urged all parties to Darfur conflict to negotiate a political solution saying that is the only way to resolve the seven years old crisis.
A source close to the meetings that start on Monday attributed Gration’s absence to "disagreements" between the head of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Ibrahim Gambari whose headquarters are in El-Fasher.
"Gration does not like the fact that Gambari wants to play a greater role in Darfur’s political process and feels that he is pulling the rug from under him" said the source who asked not to be named.
African diplomats privately say that there is a silent behind the scenes competition between the UN-AU joint mediator and the head of the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki. The latter, backed by the AU Commission chief Jean Ping, is reportedly trying to take over the Darfur dossier from Bassole.