Home | News    Saturday 29 November 2008

Sudan president arrives in Qatar for UN summit

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November 28, 2008 (DOHA) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir arrived today at the Arab Gulf state of Qatar where a UN summit on development is set to begin tomorrow.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir (Center) and Comoros President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi (Left) arrive in Doha (QNA)

A delegation led by Al-Bashir left Khartoum on Friday with the Comorian president with on board his plane heading to Doha.

Qatar state media said that Al-Bashir met with the ruler of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani upon his arrival.

Simultaneously the Qatari daily Al-Sharq reported that a delegation of Darfur Justice Equality Movement (JEM) will arrive on Sunday. However Sudanese officials no meeting is scheduled with the rebels.

Qatar is leading a mediation effort on the Darfur crisis.

The embattled Sudanese head of state who faces a possible arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) is also expected to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

This would be first meeting between the UN Chief and Sudanese president following reports that he received advice from his legal advisers to distance himself from Al-Bashir in wake of his indictment.

The Sudanese Ambassador to Qatar, Abdallah Ibrahim Fagiri stressed in a press statement that Sarkozy’s meeting is important since France has strong ties to Chad as well as presiding over the European Union this year.

Sarkozy’s office said this week that France does not expect any offers to be put on the table. However the French president was expected to repeat a proposition that could suspend ICC prosecution of Al-Bashir.

Last September Sarkozy made it clear that his country will not support a deferral resolution unless certain conditions are met.

“France wants the Sudanese authorities to radically change their policies. It is now up to Mr. Al-Bashir to determine what exactly he wants” Sarkozy said.

“We want to deploy the international force in Darfur to stop the scandalous situation in which tens of thousands are dying in this part of Africa. We want peace in Sudan as well as peace and the territorial integrity of Chad… people in Darfur have the right to live and we cannot accept the situation as it is currently” he added.

Sarkozy warned Sudan that France wants to see concrete steps taken before it would support a suspension of ICC move.

“There would be no recourse to invoking Article 16 unless there is radical and immediate change in Sudanese policies” he said.

“If Sudanese authorities do change; totally change their policies then France would not be opposed to using Article 16” the French president added.

In mid-July the ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno- Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused Al-Bashir of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur; Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.

The African Union, Arab League, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) called for invoking Article 16 which allows the UNSC to suspend the ICC prosecutions in any case for a period of 12 months that can be renewed indefinitely.

But Western members of the UNSC such as US and France made it clear that they would veto such a resolution was introduced at this point in time.

The US special envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson told reporters last week that the US will not support a suspension of the move and “will use veto [in UN Security Council (UNSC)] if necessary”.

The US envoy said that there are only seven votes in the UNSC supporting deferring the indictment which falls short of the required nine votes to adopt a resolution in the council.

He also linked any support by Washington to a deferral to progress on the ground in Darfur.

UN experts estimate some 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million driven from their homes. Sudan blames the Western media for exaggerating the conflict and puts the death toll at 10,000.

(ST)

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  • 29 November 2008 08:49, by omons stephen

    It’s really ridiculous for the head of state to be restless lobbying to invoke article 16 of the ICC, nothing will help Al Bashir, unless he comply with the ICC and hand over those stooges, so that they are brought to the justice. France and USA are admen they are not in position to side any terrorist act, Bashir should confess and stop killing the innocent black African.Al Bashir stated to feel the symptom of hell before he leave the world, I know he will never experience any rest in his life again unless he abide by the world constitution.

    repondre message

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