When I opened The Washington Times on Tuesday and saw an Op-Ed column by Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani, a key adviser to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, under the headline "Give peace a chance," I could only assume that April Fools' Day had arrived very late this year. Dr. Ghazi conveniently omitted a few key points that your readers should appreciate. His boss, Mr. Bashir, is wanted on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, with a possible charge of genocide soon to follow.
The National Congress Party, of which Mr. Ghazi is a senior leader, directly engineered the brutal violence in Darfur that has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions without homes. The Sudanese government recently expelled 13 aid groups that were delivering lifesaving assistance in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan. We all would like to see a lasting peace in Sudan, but Dr. Ghazi's self-serving fictions will not move us any closer in that direction.
- Enough's Executive Director, John Norris, writing to the Washington Times.
The Obama administration stepped up its efforts yesterday to salvage a four-year-old peace accord for Sudan, convening officials from 32 countries and international organizations amid fears that Africa's longest-running civil war could resume.
The conference came after years in which the world's attention was focused on a separate Sudanese conflict, in the western region of Darfur. In the meantime, implementation of the agreement ending the country's north-south fight has lagged.
WASHINGTON, Jun 23 (IPS) - The United States Tuesday urged the government of Sudan and former rebels in the south to re-invigorate their 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), as 30 Sudanese political leaders met with 170 observers from 32 countries and international organisations here to discuss the faltering CPA, which expires in 2011.
"We are facing some very important milestones in the near future ... they will set the foundation, for better or for worse, of the very future of Sudan," U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg said in welcoming the delegates assembled at the Park Hyatt Hotel.