Home | News    Friday 16 January 2004

Aid for Sudan considered as Schroder tours Africa

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By International Herald Tribune

BERLIN, Jan 16, 2006 — Germany is willing to help stabilize Sudan following any final peace deal to end its 20-year civil war, a senior government official said Thursday ahead of a four-nation African tour by Chancellor Gerhard Schroder.

Schroder’s trip - his first to Africa since he took office in 1998 - will start Sunday and take him to Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana through Jan. 24. He will travel with a 23-member business delegation that includes Jürgen Schrempp, DaimlerChrysler’s chief executive, and Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Lufthansa’s chief executive.

Schroder intends to promote the nascent New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the continent’s plan to eradicate poverty, the official said, and recognizes that Germany "cannot be entirely abstinent" from efforts to secure peace in Africa.

Berlin could send one or two senior military officers to participate in a UN-mandated cease-fire commission once a peace deal is reached for Sudan, the official added, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

While Germany could also provide unspecified "material help" to Sudan, it will not consider a full-scale deployment of peacekeeping troops, the official said, noting that the German military already is stretched by missions in Afghanistan and the Balkans.

The Sudan war has left more than two million dead, mostly from illness and famine, and made refugees of millions more.

The leader of Namibia’s Herero tribe said Thursday that Schr?der’s omission of Namibia from his tour was a "missed opportunity at true reconciliation" with the former German colony.

"It is a slap in the face," said Kuaima Riruako, the Herero paramount chief.

"He missed a chance for true reconciliation, 120 years after the notorious Berlin Conference and the genocide of my people a century ago."

The Berlin Conference split Africa up among European powers.

The Herero, who make up about 7 percent of Namibia’s population, commemorated on Sunday the centennial of an uprising in which tens of thousands of Hereros were slaughtered by German colonial troops. The German ambassador to Namibia, Wolfgang Massing, expressed his country’s "regret" over the slaughter but refrained from offering an apology - a demand that has repeatedly been made by the Herero people.

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