SUDAN WATCH: Sudan spent GBP 15m on villas for two-day African Union summit in Khartoum

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sudan spent GBP 15m on villas for two-day African Union summit in Khartoum

On Friday Jan 20 African Union chief executive Alpha Oumar Konare opened final preparations for the AU summit in Sudan by urging both parties to the country's Darfur conflict to be serious about peace.

This morning, AU chairman, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo declared the opening of the summit.

According to today's Telegraph, Sudan spent GBP 15m on building 40 villas to house Africa's presidents for 48 hours.

Meanwhile, India has given a $392m loan to Sudan in two lines of credit through Export-Import Bank (EXIM) for setting up a 500 MW power plant and a transmission line project in Sudan.

African summit room conference in Khartoum

Photo: African summit room conference in Khartoum (AFP/File/Kambou Sia/ST)

Xinhua Jan 23 says the summit has drawn more than 30 African leaders. Delegates will discuss issues of education, culture and science but the status of peace and security on the continent and issues concerning UN reform are also considered to be on the top agenda:
"In his welcome address, Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir pledged to work with Sudan's neighbors and other African countries to maintain peace and stability on the continent.

He said as one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity, AU's predecessor, Sudan has played an important role in the continent's unity and integration, adding that with its unique geographical location, it can also act as a link between Africa and the Arab world.

Al-Bashir also called for the continuation of the AU mission in Sudan's troubled western region of Darfur, saying that only in this way can Africa prove its capability in resolving internal conflicts."
Note, Egypt's Mubarak will not attend the summit because he has a cold.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives in Khartoum, Sudan

Photo: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) is received by Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir (L) as he arrives at Khartoum international airport to attend the summit. (AFP/Gianluigi Guercia/Yahoo)

Gabon's President Omar Bongo arrives at Khartoum

Photo: Gabon's President Omar Bongo (C) arrives at Khartoum international airport to attend the summit. (AFP/Gianluigi Guercia/Yahoo)

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza arrives in Khartoum

Photo: Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza (R) is received by Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir (L) as he arrives at Khartoum international airport to attend the summit. (AFP/Gianluigi Guercia/Yahoo)

Further reading:

Jan 20, 2006 Bio: General Omar Hasan Ahmed al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan - and the African Union? - see footnotes:

Jan 17, 2006: Khartoum rushes to transform itself AU summit to be held in Khartoum Jan 23-24, 2006

Dec 30, 2005: Sudan buys presidential yacht for AU summit.

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