Burkina Faso foreign minister appointed AU-UN envoy on Darfur

Sharm El Sheikh- Egypt (PANA) -- Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole has been appointed the joint African Union (AU)-UN special envoy for Sudan, tas k ed with overseeing the search for military and political solutions to the crisis in Darfur.
The Burkinabe politician replaces AU Special Envoy Salim Ahmed Salim and the UN Special Envoy Jan Eliasson, who have been overseeing the search for both politic a l and military solutions in the battle-scarred region of western Sudan.
Speaking hours before the African Union (AU) Executive Council, bringing togethe r foreign ministers from the 53 African states, AU Commission Chairperson Jean P i ng said Bassole would work on a full time basis to resolve the crisis.
"We are pursuing political and military objectives.
We hope the political aspect s would move," Ping told a news conference Friday.
Bassole had a long career as a senior military officer in Burkina Faso before jo ining the government in 1999 as deputy minister in charge of security.
He was ap p ointed the Security Minister, a position he held for nearly seven years.
UN sources say the move to appoint the new mediator to serve on full time basis was motivated by the growing political crisis in Darfur, including the latest at t acks on Khartoum in early May.
Ping said he undertook a three-day mission to Khartoum, during which he pleaded with President Omar El Bashir, not to retaliate the attacks in Omdurman, a subur b of Khartoum.
"The appointment of the joint mediator will pave the way for political negotiati ons in accordance with the Abuja agreement," Ping reiterated.
His comments came as the civil society groups attending the AU conference here b lamed the Sudanese government for delaying the full deployment of the AU/UN Hybr i d Force for Darfur (UNAMID).
"African leaders have a role to end the conflict in Darfur.
The government is st ill obstructing the deployment of the force," said Amir Osman, the International Advocacy Director for the Save Darfur, a coalition of civil society organisation s .
He said the AU Peace and Security Council, due to hold its meeting at a Presiden tial level here Sunday, should be briefed on the on-going steps to end the confl i ct and on Khartoum's lack of progress on the implementation of the military aspe c ts of the deal.
"The African states have to take steps to end the conflict," he added.

28 june 2008 11:54:00




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