Saturday, May 08, 2010

Sudan: Talkfest on Sudan commences - without Sudan

Radio Miraya reports international envoys and representatives from the African Union, and United Nations convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, on Friday to begin consultative meetings on Sudan, without the participation of the Sudanese government.

Sudan's Deputy Ambassador to Addis Ababa, Akoi Bona Malwal, said that the government has not received an official invitation to attend the high level meeting, but added that a delegation led by State Minister of Youth and Sports, Amin Hassan Omar, will be taking part in minor side meetings.

Malwal further said that he is aware that foreign ministers from neighbouring countries will be attending the meeting but could not disclose any other information, saying he does not know "what else is happening" even though the discussions are about Sudan.

The meeting is scheduled to discuss the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and ongoing efforts to resolve the Darfur conflict among other issues.

Special Envoys for Sudan from China, France, Russia, UK, and the US as well as representatives from the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will attempt to coordinate regional efforts on issues pertaining to Sudan for the near future.

Meanwhile, Brussels-based International Crisis Group has said that if Southern Sudan secedes after the referendum in 2011, diplomatic support must be achieved will neighboring countries to ensure that the decision is respected in order to prevent a new civil war from ensuing.

The latest NGO report "Regional Perspectives on the Prospect of Southern Sudan Independence", calls on the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to harmonize efforts in support of the referendum, recognize its results and assist in the peaceful implementation of its outcome

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