November 5, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – The Turkish government dismissed criticism over its invitation extended to the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir to attend the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit this weekend.
The controversy surrounding Bashir’s visit stems from the outstanding arrest warrant for him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.
Sudan has not officially confirmed the Turkey visit though a presidential source told Reuters this week that Bashir plans to attend.
Various unnamed Turkish officials speaking to media asserted that their country is not one of the signatories of the Rome Statute which is the founding text of the ICC.
One official argued that they were simply hosting the OIC meeting with no say on who is invited.
April 30, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – Several advocacy groups seeking to influence American power have voiced some concern about the US president’s lack of attention to Africa in his first 100 days in office and come near to outright criticism.
The group Africa Action cautioned “it would be damaging to U.S. foreign policy to deprioritize diplomacy and democracy in Africa,” implying that the economic crisis in the United States might have prompting such a trend.
President Barack Obama today appointed retired Air Force General J. Scott Gration as the US Special Envoy for Sudan, fulfilling one of the campaign promises he had made to address the situation in Darfur.
“General Gration’s personal and professional background, and his service to the country as both a military leader and a humanitarian, give him the insights and experience necessary for this assignment,” said Obama in a written statement.