Home | News    Friday 14 May 2004

African leaders to meet in Mali Saturday; terrorism on agenda


BAMAKO, Mali, May 13, 2004 (AP) — African leaders are expected to discuss terrorism and the continent’s crises at the Mali-hosted Saturday summit of a regional bloc launched by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, with heads of state focusing on Sudan ’s war-wracked Darfur province.

More than one dozen leaders are scheduled to attend the one-day annual meeting of the 18-nation Group of Sahel and Sahara States - including President Omar el-Bashir of Sudan and Idriss Deby of neighboring Chad, which has suffered a refugee crisis from months of killing in Darfur.

Any terrorist activity in the vast, largely unpatrolled desert region will also be high on the docket, Libyan Foreign Minister Abdurrahman Shalgham told The Associated Press.

While U.S. forces have been training local troops in Mauritania and Mali in recent months - with plans to extend the US$7 million program to Niger and Chad - the region should find its own solutions to instability, Shalgham said.

Foreign forces only "complicate" matters, he said.

The bloc, known as Censad, was established in Libya in 1998 with the aim of creating what Gadhafi termed "The United States of Africa."

It will be Gadhafi’s first summit in West Africa since disavowing weapons of mass destruction programs last year, prompting warming relations with the West.

Gadhafi has long looked southward from Libya, apparently seeking to bolster a poor international image by playing an active role in the world’s poorest region.

Beside Gadhafi, Bashir, Deby and Mali President Amadou Tandja, leaders from Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria are among those scheduled to begin arriving Friday in the capital, Bamako.

Sudanese Arab tribal militia, allegedly backed by government forces, have attacked dozens of villages of black Africans, killing thousands and driving more than 1 million of them into flight.

Tens of thousands have taken refuge in Chad, where aid agencies say they don’t have the resources to care for them.

Chad said Sunday that the Sudanese militia had crossed the border last week and clashed with the Chadian army, which killed dozens of them. He said Chad would no longer tolerate such incursions.

Some U.N. officials and human rights groups have called the campaign "ethnic cleansing," saying it is intended to drive the black Africans from the region and replace them with Arab tribes.

Sudan has denied any such campaign, saying its troops and the militia are merely fighting autonomy-seeking rebels.

The Sahel, which means coast in Arabic, is the semi-desert region south of the Sahara that runs west to east from the Cape Verde Islands off Senegal to Ethiopia.

The bloc includes Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sudan , Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia.

The group’s last summit took place in March 2003 in Niamey, Niger.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

In memory of Kerbino Wol 2020-06-29 08:17:47 By Robert Portada On 5 June 2020, Kerbino Wol announced that he was standing in solidarity with fellow citizens deep in the sacred land of South Sudan and launching the official manifesto of the (...)

Sudan: Dynamics of change and resistance of political parties to change  2020-06-26 19:15:55 By: Hussein Arko Menawi When we look at the political timeline in Sudan it gives us strong evidence, how the political future in Sudan is critical, bleak and confusing. It is also a good (...)

Sudan’s legitimate request for UN assistance. Who the opponents are and what their ulterior motives? (3-3) 2020-06-26 12:08:29 By: Trayo A. Al Ali Trayo Keep the focus on: Regardless of any inadvertent diversion punctuates the course of this discussion, it is extremely important for the reader to strickly keep the focus (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2020 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.