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November 2008 - Posts

President Al-Bashir addresses international development finance summit in Doha

Doha, Nov. 29 (SUNA)- President of the Republic Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir has affirmed continuation of the government efforts for finding political peaceful settlement for Darfur issue, lauding the efforts exerted by sisterly and friendly countries for solving the issue. Addressing the international development finance summit in Doha Saturday, President Al-Bashir affirmed support to the Arab-African initiative, led by the State of Qatar, as well as the efforts of the joint United Nations-African Union envoy. President Al-Bashir called for writing off the external debt of the poor countries, urging establishment of effective and just international mechanism for writing off the external debts of the highly indebted poor countries without preconditions. He pointed that the industrial countries did not live up to their commitments to provide the necessary support to development as well as their putting many conditions and procedures that impede the flow of development aid. President Al-Bashir called for mobilization of external resources for development, pointing out that it is impossible to realize the millennium development goals without economic development strategy and directing development aid to realize an agricultural leap in the poor countries. BT/BT

President Al-Bashir holds meetings on sidelines of Doha development summit with Emir of Qatar

Doha, Nov. 29 (SUNA)- President of the Republic Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir has affirmed support to the Arab-African initiative, led by the State of Qatar, saying that the government of Sudan is ready to exert all efforts to reach a just and durable peace in Darfur soonest. This came when President Al-Bashir met on the sidelines of Doha Development summit Saturday with His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar Shiekh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Al-Tegani Salih Fedail said in a statement to SUNA following the meeting that President Al-Bashir briefed His Highness the Emir on the efforts exerted lately to create a conducive atmosphere and come out with a common vision by all political forces on solutions for Darfur issue. Meanwhile, President Al-Bashir also met on the sidelines of the summit with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country assumes the current Presidency of the European Union, and discussed bilateral relations and means of boosting them further. Dr. Fedail said in a statement to SUNA the meeting discussed the Arab-African initiative, which is led by Qatar and that President Al-Bashir affirmed to the French President his support to the initiative. President Al-Bashir briefed his French counterpart on developments in Sudan and the outcome of the Forum of the People of Sudan of recommendations that enjoyed the consensus of the Sudanese people. Meanwhile, President Al-Bashir also met on the sidelines of the summit with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. BT/BT

Ministry of Information and Communications eulogizes late journalist Hassan Satti

Khartoum, Nov. 29 (SUNA) - The Minister of Information and Communications and the State Minister at the Ministry eulogized journalist Hassan Satti, who passed away Saturday after a short illness. Late Satti was one of the distinguished Sudanese journalists who had worked with dedication and high professionalism. He had served as editor-in-chief of a number of newspapers and a writer in Arab newspapers that are published in London besides his contributions in some of the Arab satellite TV stations on regional and international issues. BT/BT

President Al-Bashir Meets in Doha with Emir of Qatar

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Doha, Nov. 28 (SUNA)- President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, was received Friday in Doha, Qatar, by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, and discussed progress of the bilateral relations, in general, and the Arab - African initiative on Darfur. President Al-Bashir will participate Saturday in the tripartite summit with the Emir of Qatar and the French President, Sarkozy. Sudan Ambassador to Qatar, Abdalla Ibarhim Fagiri, said that the importance of the tripartite summit between President Al-Bashir, the Emir of Qatar and the French President emanates from the close relations between France and the countries neighbouring Sudan, and also from the chairmanship of France to the current session of the European Union, besides the prominent role that France is expected to play for solution of Darfur issue, especially that Qatar has carried out extensive efforts in this regard. Meanwhile, Sudan permanent envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Abdul-Mahmoud Abdul-Halim, affirmed importance of the International Development Conference to Sudan, which remained giving special concern to the issue of development at the international and regional levels. He said that convocation of the International Development Conference comes in a time when Sudan is assuming chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China which includes 130 countries. Ambassador Abdul-Halim said that the conference provides an opportunity for President Al-Bashir to meet with the Qatari leadership and the participating presidents and heads of states. President Al-Bashir and the accompanying delegation arrived in Doha Friday evening. The delegation accompanying President Al-Bashir includes the Minister at the Presidency of the Republic, Gen. Bakri Hassan Salih, the Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Al-Tigani Salih Fedail, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Al-Samani Al-Wasila, the national negotiator for Sudan membership at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Badr-Eddin Suleiman, Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Sudan, Badr-Eddin Mahmoud Abbas, the Director of the Political Administration at the Presidency of the Republic, Ambassador Osman Nafie, and Sudan envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Abdul-Mahmoud Abdul-Halim. MO/MO

Workshop of African Security and Intelligence Organs Concludes Meetings in Khartoum

Khartoum, Nov. 28 (SUNA) - The Workshop of Security and Intelligence Organs in Africa concluded its meetings in Khartoum and issued its recommendations. The workshop affirmed its absolute rejection to any intervention in the African affairs under the cloak of justice and its mechanisms, regarding foreign interference in Africa affairs as a threat to its security and sovereignty. In his address at the concluding sitting of the workshop, the General Director of the Security and Intelligence Organ, Gen. Salah Abdalla, appreciated the spirit of seriousness and responsibility and the unity of vision which prevailed the workshop. He said that the workshop's rejection of the move of the International Criminal Court (ICC) came in the context of the African rejection to the ICC move which was affirmed through the stance of the African Union and Sharm Al-Shaikh Summit. MO/MO

ICC fending off Darfur challenge
Rebels in Darfur, Sudan


By Chris Stephen

With his call to indict Sudanese rebel leaders for crimes in Darfur, International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will hope to blunt moves in the United Nations to grant immunity from a genocide charge to Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.

 

Several UN members have indicated support for suspending a proposed ICC indictment against Mr Bashir if he co-operates in turning Darfur's delicate peace process into a reality.

To put ICC proceedings on hold in Darfur would send a dangerous signal to would-be war criminals that justice is negotiable
Louise Arbour
UN's former human rights chief

In announcing charges against Mr Bashir's foes, the prosecutor is hoping to show he is even handed.

Mr Bashir was accused of genocide in July, although the ICC has yet to confirm the charge.

Since then the Arab League and the African Union have called on the UN Security Council to use special powers, under Article 16 of the ICC constitution, to suspend the case against Mr al-Bashir.

Four of the five permanent members of the council - Britain, China, France and Russia - have indicated support for the plan.

"In the event the Sudan authorities do change, totally change, their policy," said French President Nikolas Sarkozy, "France would not be opposed to using, I believe it is, Article 16."

Stuck in the mud

Human rights groups complain that such a deal would be the kiss of death for international war crimes justice, setting a dangerous precedent.

File photograph of Omar Hassan al-Bashir
An ICC prosecutor has sought a warrant for Mr Bashir's arrest
"An Article 16 deferral will send a message to human rights abusers around the world that justice can be bargained away," said Sara Darehshori of New York-based Human Rights Watch.

"It can send a signal that impunity can be tolerated."

The problem for the UN is that the Darfur peace process is stuck in the mud.

Talks between Sudan and more than 12 separate rebel groups have got nowhere and Khartoum is giving scant co-operation over the deployment of an African Union-UN peacekeeping force.

As fighting drags on, the UN is having to care for more than two million Darfur refugees living in vast camps in neighbouring Chad.

Meanwhile, Sudan has refused to hand over two men already indicted for Darfur crimes by the ICC, Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ahmed Haroun and militia leader Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman - known as Ali Kushayb.

And it would be highly unlikely to hand over their president for trial in The Hague.

For many at the UN, suspending Mr Bashir's genocide charge would be a small price to pay for peace.

But one senior UN diplomat said: "There has to be a very substantial change in Sudan's co-operation."

"We're not getting involved in negotiations."

American pressure

Rights groups say making an exception with Mr Bashir risks opening the floodgates, with the Central African Republic and Uganda, also subject to ICC investigations, now calling for similar treatment.

ICC supporters have some influential friends.

 Sudanese internally displaced woman carries her child as she walks along railway tracks in Kalma camp
More than 2.5 million people have been forced from their homes in Darfur

"To put ICC proceedings on hold in Darfur would send a dangerous signal to would-be war criminals that justice is negotiable," said Louise Arbour, the UN's former human rights chief.

And writing in the Financial Times, Richard Holbrooke, a former US Balkan envoy and adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, argues:

"Suspension may seem a safer course to follow in the short run, but it will embolden him [Mr Bashir] and other future suspected war criminals."

An irony not lost on ICC officials is that it was the UN who called them in to investigate Sudan in the first place.

The court had no formal powers to investigate Darfur until, in March 2005, the UN Security Council gave it a mandate.

Now, say ICC supporters, the UN is considering a U-turn because the court has indicted the man many consider responsible for ethnic cleansing estimated to have left some 300,000 dead.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo will hope his call to indict three rebel leaders for the murder of 12 AU peacekeepers in Haskanita, southern Darfur, in September last year will ease criticism from some in the AU that his investigations thus far have been one-sided.

Rights groups are pinning their hopes on the United States, the only member of the Permanent Five that has yet to express a view supporting an Article 16 suspension.

The Bush administration has already commissioned an independent report that concluded genocide had been committed in Darfur, and the cause of Darfur has galvanised both America's liberals and conservative evangelicals.

In this atmosphere, the incoming Obama administration may find it politically difficult to support any UN move to give Mr Bashir impunity.

Chris Stephen is author of Judgement Day: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic, published by Atlantic Books in 2004.

ICC seeks rebel arrests in Darfur
Darfur rebels
There are many rebel groups making peace efforts difficult

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor has asked judges for arrest warrants to be issued for three rebel commanders in Sudan's Darfur region.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who alleges they killed 12 African Union peacekeepers, said the men would not be named.

"It's an opportunity for them to show they respect justice to come to The Hague voluntarily," he told the BBC.

In July, Mr Moreno-Ocampo asked for Sudan's president to be indicted on war crimes charges, which he denies.

Some fear that if the president's indictment proceeds it could derail peace efforts.

Last week, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced an immediate ceasefire in the Darfur and promised to begin disarming militias and restrict the use of weapons among armed groups.

No-one who's attacked peacekeepers will be immune
ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo

But on Thursday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he had received "troubling reports" of aerial bombings near Kutum in North Darfur, and fighting in the area of Tine, in West Darfur.

The Sudanese government has denied rebel claims it bombed their territory.

The UN estimates that up to 2.7 million people have been forced from their homes in Darfur and some 300,000 have died during five-and-a-half years of conflict.

Lobbying

Mr Moreno-Ocampo said that in September 2007 more than 1,000 rebels attacked the AU peacekeepers' base in the town of Haskanita, in southern Darfur.

He accused them of committing war crimes including murder, pillaging and deliberately attacking the peacekeepers.

Map of Darfur
"We have solid evidence showing exactly who commanded, how they commanded and how the attack was perpetrated," Mr Moreno-Ocampo told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"No-one who's attacked peacekeepers will be immune," he said.

He said the names were being withheld "to ensure the appearance of these individuals in front of the court".

The ICC has already issued two arrest warrants - in 2007 - for Sudanese Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ahmed Haroun and pro-government militia leader Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman - known as Ali Kushayb - for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Sudan has refused to co-operate with the ICC case and insists on conducting its own investigations.

Ali Kushayb was taken into custody by Sudanese authorities this year.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo said that even though Mr Haroun had not yet been arrested, it was a question of time.

"The destiny of Haroun is to face justice - in two months or two years."

The ICC prosecutor has said there are grounds to believe Sudan's president bears criminal responsibility on 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Sudan's government has always denied charges that it armed the Janjaweed militias accused of widespread atrocities against civilians in Darfur.

It is lobbying hard for the UN Security Council to delay an ICC investigation into whether President Bashir should be charged.

Director of National Security and Intelligence Service warns of utilizing the international institutions to serve special agenda

Khartoum, Nov. 25 (SUNA) - Director of the National Security and Intelligence Service Gen. Salah Abdullah has warned of attempts to utilize the international institutions and law to serve Western countries according to certain mechanisms, such as the so-called the International Criminal Court that contributed to aggravation of conflicts and impeding peace and development in many of the countries of the world. The Director of the National Security and Intelligence Service said in his address to the inaugural session of the third workshop of experts of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA) at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum Tuesday that the colonialism has created mechanisms that targets the sovereignty of the African countries and their resources, pointing out that such mechanisms include the International Criminal Court, which is considered one of the biggest threats to peace and security in the African continent and the whole world. He warned that the allegations of the International Criminal Court against various countries of the continent could lead to spread of chaos and undermine stability in all parts of the continent and the spread of this to other continents. He pointed out that the stance of Sudan emanates from the African rejection to dealing with this court that attempts to abort the achievements that have been realized at all security, political and humanitarian domains. The Director of the National Security and Intelligence Service lauded the awareness of the African countries represented in their total rejection to the International Criminal Court. BT/BT

Chairman and Members of Elections Commission and Council for Political Parties Affairs Sworn in

Khartoum, Nov. 25 (SUNA)- Chairman and members of the National Elections Commission and the Council of Political Parties Affairs were Tuesday sworn in at the Republican Palace before the President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, and the Chief Justice, Jalal-Eddin Mohamed Osman, in the presence of the First Vice - President, Salva Kiir, and the Vice - President, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, the Presidential Assistants and Advisors, ministers, members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Sudan and the participants at the current Forum of the of the Associations of Senate and Shura and Similar Councils in Africa and the Arab World. Addressing the oath taking ceremony, President Al-Bashir said that the oath taking represented an important occasion in the persistent efforts to boost the political system and the democratic work in the country. He said that the oath taking is significant step for holding free and fair elections, adding that members of the Elections Commission and the Council of the Political Parties Affairs are known for their neutrality, honesty, objectivity and patriotism. President Al-Bashir hoped that all the political parties shall work to establish structures, organizational frameworks and regulations toward guaranteeing proper, disciplined and rational political process in Sudan. He also hoped that the coming elections will be a model one in the Arab and African arenas. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Elections Commission, Abil Alier, called on all the organs and institutions in the state and the leaders of the political parties to cooperate with the commission toward guaranteeing wise and proper political practicing and fair and neutral elections. Chairman of the Council for the Political Parties Affairs, Mohamed Bushara Dosa, said the council's work will be characterized by neutrality, transparency and honesty. MO/MO

Dr. Ismail: Date and venue of Al-Bashir-Deby summit have not been determined yet

Khartoum, Nov. 25 (SUNA) - Presidential Advisor Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail has affirmed there is an agreement for holding a summit meeting between President of the Republic Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir and Chadian President Idris Deby, but the date and venue of the summit have not been determined yet. Dr. Ismail said to SUNA, responding to a question on reports on a meeting between Presidents Al-Bashir and Deby in Doha, that so far there are no arrangements for such a meeting, expressing surprise over media reports in this connection. Dr. Ismail added that they have no information till now that President Deby will participate in the development summit in Doha. IF/BT

Meeting of Senates and Shura Councils in Africa and Arab World Represents

Khartoum, Nov. 25 (SAUNA)- The Third Conference and Fourth Meeting of the Association o Senate and Shura and Similar Councils in Africa and the Arab World heard in its second sitting Tuesday addresses of the heads of the participating delegations. The representative of the Common Market for East and South Africa (COMESA) called for setting up a general framework of the association and its general secretariat, and regarded the forum as an opportunity for solution of African disputes and confronting the pending challenges. She called for the participation of women in all walks of life. Head of the delegation of Morocco said that the forum provided a good opportunity to enhance the democratic practicing, especially that it convened in the current tense regional and international circumstances, and when Sudan, the host of the conference, is facing plots that are targeting its unity, stability and resources. He called for support to Sudan's national choices, and also for support to the Palestinian people. Head of the delegation of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Suwailem, said that the conference is convening when the area is suffering from terrorism, wars and the financial crisis, a matter which necessitates joint serious work and cooperation to confront these challenges. He stressed the importance of respect to the dignity of peoples and their right for security, freedom, self-determination, condemning the irresponsible conspiracies and violations against Sudan. Dr. Al-Suwailem also called for solution for Darfur issue, and suggested condemnation of the conference to the piracy activity. Chairman of the delegation of Bahrain, Fuad Ahmed Al-Hajaji, affirmed his country's support and solidarity with Sudan concerning the plots targeting it sovereignty and security. Head of the delegation of Jordan said that the international greediness are representing a stumbling block in the path of development and stability in the Arab and African nations. He described the conference as symbolization to the brotherhood and cooperation in all fields. The representative of South Africa regarded convocation of the conference as marking the beginning of a new stage in the efforts for realizing peace, development and prosperity, adding that time has come for solidarity and unity between the Arab and African Worlds. MO/MO

Body of Sayed Ahmed Al-Mirghani Buried in huge funeral ceremony

Khartoum, Nov. 5 (SUNA) - The body of the former Chairman of the Council of the Head of State, Sayed Ahmed Al-Mirghani, was buried at the tomb of Sayed Ali Al-Mirghani in Khartoum North Wednesday evening in a huge funeral ceremony led by the President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, and the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Khatmiya Sect, Sayed Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani. The funeral was attended by a huge number of people, supporters of Khatmiya Sect, senior government officials, leaders and prominent figures of the political parties and the Sudanese society, members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Sudan, leaders of the Sufi sects and Islamic and Christian religious leaders. At the funeral ceremony, Jaafar Al-Saddiq Al-Mirghani, the son of Sayed Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani, spoke on behalf of Al-Mirghani's family enumerating the deeds and great national contributions of late Sayed Ahmed Al-Mirghani. He also expressed thanks to all those who participated in the funeral, especially the President of the Republic, his two deputies, the presidential advisors and the leaders of the political parties, as well as the Arab leaders who sent condolence cables. MO/MO

Sudan welcomes Obama's winning of US presidential elections

Khartoum, Nov. 5 (SUNA) - Sudan has welcomed Barak Obama's winning of the US presidential elections. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hoped in a statement issued Wednesday that the presidential tenure of Mr. Barak Obama would witness positive contributions to the regional and international issues instead of the policy of arrogance and hostility and disrespect to the sovereignty of states and the international law. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Sudan, in the coming period, is looking forward to a real change in the foreign policy of the United States according to the slogan of Senator Obama's election campaign: "change", as well as in the US vision to the problems of the world and promotion of dialogue. MF/ BT

Forum of People of Sudan to conclude session next Wednesday

Khartoum, Nov. 5 (SUNA) - The Forum of the People of Sudan for solving Darfur problem is to conclude its session next Wednesday and issue its recommendations. The closing session will be addressed by President of the Republic Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir. In this regard, Minister of Industry and Chairman of the Information Committee of the Forum, Dr. Jalal Yusof Al-Degair, said in a statement to SUNA the General Secretariat of the Forum, headed by Dr. Al-Tayeb Haj Attia, has completed its work concerning all the committees. Dr. Al-Degair explained that the Presidency Committee of the Forum will meet on Sunday to review the recommendations and proposals and make recommendations on them to the forum which is to convene next Monday in order to prepare the final recommendations of the forum. MF/ BT

Ali Mahmoud Hassanain Eulogized Late Ahmed Al-Mirghani

Khartoum, Nov. 5 (SUNA) - Deputy Chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Ali Mahmoud Hassanain, has eulogized the late Ahmed Al-Mirghani and described him as a leader of national orientation and impartial in carrying out his former constitutional tasks far away from his political affiliation. In a statement to SUNA, Hassanain said that the late Ahmed Al-Mirghani was elevating the national interest over the partisan one and worked to realize national consensus far away from war. He said that the late Ahmed Al-Mirghani dedicated his life for serving the nation. Hassanain indicated that the funeral of Ahmed Al-Mirghani symbolized the national unity in the country. MO/MO

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