SUDAN WATCH: Obama comments 'a step back', Sudan says

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Obama comments 'a step back', Sudan says

Sudan has hit out at US President Barack Obama, saying his use of the term "genocide" to describe the conflict in Darfur marked "a step back".

Mr Obama, in Ghana Saturday (local time) on his first official trip as President to Africa, condemned tyrants who enrich themselves and urged Africans to demand stronger governments.

He added that conflicts such as the "genocide" in Darfur and terrorism in Somalia were "a millstone around Africa's neck".

"It is a step back ... it is not helping. It is not constructive," spokesman for the Sudanese foreign ministry Ali Sadiq said, referring to Mr Obama's comments.

"We would like the President to consult with his special envoy about this issue."

Scott Gration, appointed by Mr Obama as US envoy to Sudan in March, declined to use the term "genocide" when referring to the Darfur conflict in his first news briefing in Washington on June 17.

Asked by a reporter at that briefing whether he would characterise the situation in Darfur as "genocide", he replied: "What we see is the remnants of genocide. What we see are the consequences of genocide, the results of genocide".

Source: AFP Sunday 12 July 2009 - Obama comments 'a step back', Sudan says



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