SUDAN WATCH: Gaddafi will urge Sudanese President al-Bashir to hold direct talks with Darfur rebel leaders

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Gaddafi will urge Sudanese President al-Bashir to hold direct talks with Darfur rebel leaders

The Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa said on Sunday that the League is working in coordination with the African Union to resolve major issues in Africa including the Darfur crisis and stressed on the importance of the upcoming summit in Cairo, during which leaders of Egypt, Sudan, and Libya will discuss Darfur, reports KUNA/st March 13, 2006.

Responding to journalists after a meeting with the visiting speaker of the Sudan's National Assembly, Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Taher, Mousa said that he respects the decision made by the AU Peace and Security Council to extend the peacekeeping mission of the union in Darfur to six more months.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Sunday welcomed the decision by the AU Peace and Security Council to turn over peacekeeping in Darfur to the UN, reports Xinhua/st March 13, 2006. Excerpt:
"The foreign minister praised (the council for) reaffirming the African Union's role in supervising the peace process in Darfur and that African troops should be the backbone of the new peacekeeping mission," Abul Gheit was quoted as saying by a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

The Egyptian top diplomat hoped that all parties involved in the Darfur dispute would thrash out a peace agreement as soon as possible and urged the international community to offer necessary help, the spokesman added.
Note, two Darfur rebel leaders arrived in Abuja for peace talks, a sign that the rebel groups understood the negotiations had reached a critical point, reports Sudan Tribune March 13, 2006.

Libyan leader continues great efforts to broker peace for Darfur

Libyan leader Col Gaddafi reiterated on Monday that Libya rejected any foreign intervention in Darfur without the permission of the Sudanese government and the AU, according to news from the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

Gaddafi told the press that Libya would bring forward a proposal to peacefully resolve the Darfur conflict in the summit meeting to be attended by Egypt, Sudan and Libya in Cairo next Monday reports AND/Xinhua March 15, 2006. Excerpt:
He had held talks with Darfur rebel leaders on this issue recently, said Gaddafi, adding that Libya had announced and would reiterate its stance of supporting the Sudanese government in rejecting foreign intervention.

He will urge Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir to hold direct talks with rebel leaders, so as to find a proper way to end the conflict.

Gaddafi said the rebel leaders welcomed Bashir as the Sudanese president and agreed to settle the conflict peacefully.

He added that the rebels hoped to maintain Sudan's territorial integrity on condition that their request of sharing power and wealth is fulfilled.
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Sudan's VP Taha opposes AU terms on Darfur

Sudan opposes AU terms on Darfur reports Aljazeera March 15, 2006.

Sudan opposed UN force for Darfur even after September - Taha reports Sudan Tribune March 15, 2006.
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West backs AU's Darfur plan

The EU has committed $60 million (about R360 million) and the US $120 million (about R720 million) towards sustaining Amis until September. The EU, UN and particularly the US have indicated they will back up the AU's demands, with targeted sanctions against individuals fomenting violence in Darfur.

The AU has set April 30 as the deadline for concluding a peace agreement in Darfur. Full report Mercury Foreign Service/IOL March 15, 2006.
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Sudan's top negotiator expects Darfur peace deal soon

The Presidential Advisor and head of the government delegation for Darfur peace talks in Abuja, Majzoub Al-Khalifa, said that he expects the two parties to talks to sign a political agreement during the current round of talks, ending the Darfur crisis, reports Sudan Tribune March 14, 2006 - excerpt:
At a press conference he held Tuesday at the Sudan News Agency, Al-Khalifa, said that wide strides have been made concerning the sharing of wealth and power and the security arrangements' files.

He further added that there are still pending issues such as the structure of government in Darfur, the representation of Darfur in the Presidency institution and the civil service, the resettlement of the refugees and the displaced people, the compensations and development.

Al-Khalifa indicated that the progress in the security arrangements' file is confronted by difficulties pertinent to the commitment to N'djamena ceasefire protocol, the security and humanitarian agreements, the confrontations between the armed forces and tribal disputes.

He ruled out the possibility of promotion of the government delegation at Abuja delegation, stressing that the government is negotiating as a national unity government and in accordance with a national perspective.

He lauded the contribution of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to push ahead the negotiation process..
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Security Council welcomes African decision to transform Darfur force

News Article by UN News Centre posted on March 13, 2006 says the Security Council March 13 welcomed the decision of the African Union to support, in principle, the transition of the AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur to a UN operation
"The Security Council commended the African Union for the successful deployment of the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and AMIS' role in reducing large-scale organized violence in Darfur," Council President Cesar Mayoral of Argentina told the press after the body was briefed by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hedi Annabi.

Mr. Mayoral also expressed strong support for the AU's role in the Darfur peace talks in Abuja, underlining that "political settlement is key to peace in Sudan and that the AU should maintain leadership in the Abuja process."

Deteriorating security in Darfur in recent months has prevented aid in reaching more than a million victims of Sudan's vicious three-year-old conflict, in which fighting between government forces, pro-government militias and rebels has killed some 180,000 people and displaced 2 million others.

The current UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS), deployed to support the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed about a year ago for south Sudan, has a mandate from the UN Security Council to provide some support to AMIS in Darfur.

However violence continues to flare, prompting the Security Council to consider augmenting the AU force under the UN, and, last month, to consider sanctioning individuals deemed to be a threat to the peace or to human rights in the area.

The Council is having a public meeting on Darfur on 21 March, to which it is inviting Salim Salim, the mediator of the Abuja talks, Ambassador Mayoral said.


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