Monday, January 16, 2006

Outrage over Sudan's dictator poised to lead Africa

Sudan's military dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir, pictured here below, is likely to become chairman of the African Union and the continent's face to the world despite waging war in Darfur, it emerged yesterday. Read full report by David Blair, Africa Correspondent Telegraph UK 16 January 2006.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

Note the report says African leaders may argue that Mr Bashir deserves a reward for the achievements in Southern Sudan.

Critics fear that if Mr Bashir takes the union's helm the Darfur mission will be compromised and Africa's attempt to solve a grave crisis will end.

Further reading

Jan 16, 2006 Reuters - "It is going to be difficult for the AU heads of state and government not to allow Sudan to chair," said Prince Mashele, of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria. "African leaders are diplomatic in dealing with sensitive issues and will not raise Sudan's rights or governance issues publicly."

Jan 16 AP - Sudan's bid to chair AU has put African leaders in tough position.

Jan 15 Observer - Row flares at Sudan summit - South African analysts are deeply alarmed by reports that their country's President, Thabo Mbeki, intends to support Sudan's bid.

Jan 14 Reuters/SAPA - Sudan's bid to chair AU likely to fail - Nigeria's President could stay in chair

Further reports at PoTP - more than 40 African non-governmental organisations have launched a bid to prevent Sudan from chairing the African Union.

Outrage over the dictator poised to lead Africa

Photo: David Blair has been the Daily Telegraph's Africa Correspondent since June 2004. When not touring the continent, he lives in Johannesburg. He was previously based in the Middle East, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. See his blog entry Jan 11, 2006 A monster at large - it's about Joseph Kony "the biggest mass murderer at large in the world today, bar none. Kony leads the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group that has terrorised northern Uganda for almost 20 years."

Outrage over the dictator poised to lead Africa

Photo: Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (C) is greeted by Nigerian officials during his arrival in the Nigerian capital of Abuja December 19, 2005. (Reuters/ST). Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that on Sunday he asked the AU to continue sponsoring peace talks between Khartoum and Darfur rebel groups. Bashir made the appeal while addressing an opening session of a gathering of African universities as part of preparations for the sixth AU summit on Jan 23-24 in Khartoum.

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