Home | News    Tuesday 24 August 2004

Libya warns against foreign intervention in Darfur crisis

ABUJA, Aug 23, 2004 (Xinhua) — Libyan Foreign Minister Ali Treki warned Monday against foreign intervention in solving the Darfur crisis in Sudan after the peace talks resumed in Abuja, capital ofNigeria.

Treki, representative of Libyan President Muamar Ghadafi attending the inter-Sudan talks aimed at ending the conflict in the Darfur region, said that there was a better way for those willing to help.

"Those willing to assist Sudan should limit their efforts to providing relief materials and other items the troubled area might find useful," he said.

Lauding efforts by the African Union (AU) to resolve the crisis,he said that it was high time African leaders insisted on being allowed to solve their problems.

The minister advised the AU leaders to serve as a channel through which the opposing groups would express their grievances so as to arrive at an amicable solution.

"We must continue to develop confidence in ourselves. Indeed, we should see this particular meeting toward peace in Sudan as one such confidence building challenge," he said.

"In fact, our ability to resolve our problems should not be limited to times of crisis. We have other problems like poverty, ignorance and diseases," he added.

The Libyan president’s representative also called on the Sudanese fighting groups to use the Abuja talks to resolve their disputes, saying that there was nothing the AU could do if the Sudanese were not willing to live in peace.

"The fighters in Sudan are brothers and our task as negotiators here is to make them realize that fact and embrace the path of peace," he said.

The meeting, chaired by AU Chairman and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, was attended by representatives of the Sudanese government and two rebel groups from Darfur. It’s another effort by the African Union to help bring about a political solution to the region’s conflict, described by the United Nations as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, which has left some 10,000 people dead and one million others displaced.

The Sudanese government is represented by Agriculture Minister Mazjoub al-Khalifa Ahmed, while the two rebel groups, namely the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement, both sent their top negotiators.

Also present at the meeting included representatives from Chad,Libya, Eritrea, Uganda, and a strong representation from the Arab League and the United Nations. They were unanimous in their positions calling for an immediate end to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The United Nations Security Council had given the Sudanese government the deadline to restore peace in the Darfur region of the country at the end of August 2004.