Home | News    Monday 16 August 2004

Sudan’s foreign minister launches mission to key African states

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KHARTOUM, Aug 16, 2004 (dpa) — The Sudanese government Monday started what it has called a "diplomatic campaign" to clarify Sudan’s position on how the current war in Darfur can be resolved.

Sudanese Foreign Minister, Mustafa Osman Ismael began Monday a mission to three African states - Libya, Nigeria and Chad - regarded as key players in the current situation in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

Ismael is to deliver messages from Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir to the heads of state in the three countries on the latest developments in Darfur, Sudan’s position on resolving the issue and the efforts it has taken following the United Nations Security Council 30-day ultimatum.

On July 30, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Sudan’s government disarm the Janjaweed militia blamed for looting and killing in the region and improve the humanitarian situation in Darfur, or face possible sanctions.

Both Libya and Chad share a border with Sudan while Nigeria’s role comes in its capacity as current leader of the African Union (AU).

In a press statement Monday, Ismael said he hoped to conduct dialogue with the leaders in the three states in order to reach a solution jointly to what has been called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, which has killed over 50,000 and forced more than a million to seek refuge outside Sudan.

For his part, the Sudanese official expressed Sudan’s keenness to tell the British Foreign Minister, Jack Straw about the actual situation in Darfur, during Straw’s visit to Sudan planned for August 23 and 24.

According to Ismael, the British minister will discuss with President al-Bashir and Vice President Ali Osman Taha Sudan’s position in bringing an end to the tensions in Darfur.

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