24th Africa-France summit - Sudan president says Darfur rebels Western-backed
Speaking to the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on the sidelines of African talks in the French city of Cannes, Bashir said that instead of punishing rebels that rejected the peace deal, a United Nations resolution had put the onus on Khartoum.
"The elements that reject the agreement move with freedom in Western capitals and receive financial and military support ... and due to this support have been successful in controlling the northern section of Darfur," Bashir said. "Is this not a direct threat to Darfur and to security and peace?"
Photo: French President Jacques Chirac, left, welcomes his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir at the opening of the 24th Africa-France summit, Thursday Feb.15, 2007 in Cannes, southern France. Crises in the Sudanese region of Darfur and in Guinea overshadowed the gathering of 40 heads of state and government. The leaders of Sudan, Central African Republic and Chad were likely to meet on the sidelines to discuss Darfur. (AP Photo/Patrick Kovarik; Pool)
Photo: French President Jacques Chirac welcomes his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak at the opening of the 24th Africa-France summit, Thursday Feb.15, 2007 in Cannes, southern France. (AP Photo/Patrick Kovarik; Pool)
Photo: French President Jacques Chirac, left, welcomes his Central African Republic counterpart Francois Bozize at the opening of the 24th Africa-France summit, Thursday Feb.15, 2007 in Cannes, southern France. (AP Photo/Patrick Kovarik; Pool)
Feb 15 2007 AP report via Sudan Tribune - Chad's foreign minister says Darfur meeting "useless" - excerpt:
A source close to French President Jacques Chirac said the three countries' presidents were likely to meet at a French-African summit in the French seaside resort of Cannes.- - -
"This same meeting is useless because it is aimed at distracting international public opinion and moving it away from the real problem, which is that Sudan is attacking Chad," said Chad's Foreign Minister Ahmat Allam-Mi.
France says progress made in Darfur crisis
UPDATE Feb 16 2007 AP report by John Leicester - excerpt:
Looking to end the crisis in Darfur, France won agreement on Thursday from three involved African countries that they would not support armed rebel movements on each other's territories.- - -
Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic made the commitment in a declaration signed Thursday night, on the sidelines of an African summit that France hosted in the Riviera city of Cannes.
UPDATE People's Daily Online -- Sudanese President calls for UN support: A mini-summit, which is organized on the sidelines of the 24th France-Africa summit, ended up in the Cannes declaration on Darfur. The declaration, which was signed by Chad, Central Africa Republic and Sudan, reiterates commitment by the three countries to respect each other's sovereignty and not to support armed rebel groups in accordance with the Tripoli accord.