Sudan withdraws candidacy for AU presidency
Jan 23: According to news just in from SAPA/DPA, Sudan has said it was withdrawing its candidacy for the position of African Union (AU) chairman following protests by human rights groups and several African heads of state.
Jan 23 BBC confirms Sudan is prepared to drop its bid to chair the AU to avoid splits within the organisation, Sudan's presidential adviser has said.
"We don't want to make any cracks. If that means Sudan should withdraw, we will," Mustafa Osman Ismail said, as AU leaders met at a summit in Khartoum.
Photo: The Chairman of the AU, President Olusegun Obasanjo, right, in a jovial mood as he jokes with, from left, Omar Bongo President of Gabon, Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa and President of Comoros Azail Assoumani, second right after the opening of the summit. (AP/ST Sudan offers to withdraw its bid to head AU)
Peace talks between parties to the conflict in Darfur ground to a halt today as rebel delegations withdrew to await the result of President al-Bashir's bid to win the chairmanship of the AU.
Photo (AP/Sayyid Azim): Chairman of the AU, Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo (L) with President of Sudan Omar Al-Bashir, after the opening of the summit in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, Jan. 23, 2006.
The chairmanship of the AU traditionally goes to the country hosting the summit. That would make the next chairman Sudanese President el-Bashir, a military coup leader accused of fueling the conflict in Darfur that has killed some 400,000 people in three years, displaced 2 million and spilled over into neighboring Chad.
Photo: South African President Thabo Mbeki attends the official opening of the summit. Five African leaders have asked Sudan to withdraw its bid to head the AU because the appointment could sink Darfur peace talks and dent the group's credibility. (Reuters/Antony Njuguna)
Photo: Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso listens to the official opening of the summit. Sudan, which is under fire for rights abuses, wants to succeed Nigeria at the two-day summit. (Reuters/Antony Njuguna/Yahoo)
Photo: Sudan's vice president Salva Kiir Mayardit (L) chats with Libyan president Mohammed Gadafi during the official opening of the summit. (Reuters/Antony Njuguna)
UN Humanitarian Intervention in Darfur: Prospect or Posturing?
Note Eric Reeves' latest analysis January 21, 2006. [via Coalition for Darfur - US Works to Delete Senior Members of NIF From Sanctions List]