US Congressman Keith Ellison met with Taha, Nafi, Eddin, Ismail re CPA, Abyei, Darfur, shaky bilateral relations & lifting of US sanctions on Sudan
The visiting US Congressman Keith Ellison today held talks with the Sudanese officials on the implementation of 2005 peace agreement and the ongoing efforts to settle Darfur crisis.(Hat tip: ISRIA)
Ellison, who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, met on Wednesday with the Vice President Ali Osman Taha, Presidential Assistant Nafi Ali Nafi and Presidential Adviser, Ghazi Salah Eddin who is in charge of US relations and Darfur file.
During a meeting with Vice President Taha, the Congressman discussed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the recent Abyei arbitration ruling. They also discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the visiting lawmaker was briefed by Mr. Nafi on efforts conducted by the government since Abuja peace agreement to end the armed conflict in Darfur. The meeting was also attended by the Presidential Adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail.
Before his departure, Ellison said he would discuss the humanitarian situation in Darfur. He had been arrested last April in a protest in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington against the expulsion of 13 aid groups from Sudan last March.
With, Mr. Ghazi Salah Eddin, the talks where focused on the shaky bilateral relations and the lift of US economic sanctions.
Photo: Sudan’s VP Ali Osman Taha meets with US Congressman Keith Ellison in Khartoum, on August 5, 2009 (photo SUNA) Source: Sudan Tribune, 06 August 2009 - US Congressman discusses Sudan peace implementation and Darfur process
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From Sudan Tribune, Friday 07 August 2009 04:10:
Lawmaker reaffirms US commitment to end Darfur crisis
August 6, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — US Congressman Keith Ellison paid a one-day visit to North Darfur state on Thursday where he reiterated United States determination to support efforts to end the six year conflict in the war ravaged region.- - -
Ellison met today with the state deputy governor, the head of Darfur peacekeeping mission, representatives of humanitarian agencies and visited Zam Zam Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, about 14 kilometers south of El-Fasher.
In El Fasher where are the headquarters of the UNAMID, the Joint Special Representative, Union Rodolphe Adada briefed the visiting US lawmaker on progress made with regard to the mission’s deployment, as well as the political, humanitarian, human rights and security situation in Darfur.
During the meeting with UNAMID officials, the U.S. congressman pointed out that the issue of Darfur was one with which the U.S. Congress was very concerned and in which it continued to be engaged, adding that his visit was an attempt to assess the situation on the ground in Darfur.
The visit of the Democrat Congressman is seen by Khartoum as an opportunity to convince more US legislators that Khartoum is exerting the needed efforts to settle the conflict and protect the IDPs as well as to encourage their voluntary return.
Sudan seeks to normalize ties with Washington and to end the economic sanctions imposed since 1993.
Adada in his remarks outlined the overall role of the UNAMIS in the ongoing peace process. "UNAMID has been growing to become the authoritative voice of peace in Darfur," he said, adding that the presence of the mission had been, "acting as a deterrent from violence."
There had been a noticeable decrease in the number of people killed over the past month, "but one life lost is too many," Adada further said.
The meeting also discussed the next year elections and its effects in Darfur, including challenges to the voter registration exercise scheduled for November.
Speaking in a meeting with deputy governor, Idriss Abdallah Hassan, Ellison praised the cooperation between Sudanese government and the joint mission adding it led to the stabilization of the IDPs communities
"I convey the commitment of the U.S. administration and its efforts to develop relations with Sudan, through mutual respect, as stated by President Obama.
Furthermore, he used the opportunity to visit Zam Zam internally-displaced-persons (IDP) camp about 14 kilometers south of El Fasher.
Ellison, who is also a member of the house committee for foreign relations, arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday evening for a visit in the African country to get updated with the situation in Darfur and the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between northern and southern Sudan.
He will also inquire into the progress being made towards the CPA implementation durng talks he should hold with the southern Sudan semi-autonomous government in Juba.
Democracy cartoon: Obama comes to Africa
Source: Friday, July 10, 2009, Patrick Gathara, www.afrika.no
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US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s tour of seven African nations ends on 13 August 2009 after visits to Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the DRC, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde
From Sudan Radio Service, Friday 07 August 2009:
Clinton Highlights Africa's Potential but Warns Against Corruption
(Nairobi) – During her visit to Kenya earlier this week, the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton described Africa as having the potential and the resources to compete in the world economy.
In a speech from the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Clinton urged African countries to create markets with each other rather than focus on trading with first world countries.
[Hillary Clinton]: “Africa is capable and is making economic progress. In fact, one doesn’t have to look far to see that Africa is ripe with opportunities. The single biggest opportunity that you have right now is to open up trade with each other. The market of the United States is 3 hundred million people; the market of Africa is 7 hundred million plus people. Nations of Africa trade the least with each other than any region of the world. That makes it very difficult to compete effectively.”
However, Hillary Clinton has attributed the lack of economic progress in Africa to the failure by various governments to attract investors through stability.
[Hillary Clinton]: “It's not just about good governance, this is about good business. Investors will be attracted to states that do this and they will not be attracted to states with failed or weak leadership, or crime and civil unrest, or corruption that taints every transaction and decision.”
Clinton called on African states to reform their countries by ending bad governance, corruption and impunity. She encouraged government to ensure that the private sector and civil society organizations abiding by the rule of law.
Clinton’s tour of seven African nations ends on August 13th after visits to Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the DRC, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.