Kenya expresses concern over Darfur

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- The collapse of the ongoing mediation on Darfur could im pact negatively on the fragile peace holding in Southern Sudan, Kenyan Vice-Pres i dent Kalonzo Musyoka has warned.
Kalonzo raised the issue Wednesday in Doha, Qatar, during a meeting with the Qat ari Foreign Minister, Ahmed bin Abdallah Al-Mahmoud, who is the Chief Mediator i n the Darfur Peace Process.
According to the Vice-President Press Service (VPPS), the talks in Doha, bring t o the negotiating table the government of President Omar Al-Bashir and rebel lea d ers in the western region.
“Kenya is anxious to see progress in the Darfur Peace Process because we are con cerned that failure might impact negatively on peace already prevailing in the S o uth," the Vice President told his Qatari host.
He told the negotiators to borrow from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) s o that the people of Darfur can learn from the process that took place in Southe r n Sudan.
“I know the circumstances are not exactly the same but the fundamentals are the same.
The key issues of wealth and power sharing are obtained in both cases," Mu s yoka noted.
Kalonzo, a former foreign minister, is well-versed with the Sudanese conflicts, having played a key role in ending the long-running civil war in Sudan which pit t ed the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) against the Sudanese government tro o ps.
Kalonzo played a key role in the peace talks which culminated in SPLA/Sudanese P eoples Liberation Movement led by the late John Garang and President El Bashir s i gning the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Nairobi a few years ago.
The African Union (AU), the Inter-Governmental authority on Development (IGAD), EU and the larger international community join hands in ending the civil war tha t claimed thousands of lives and bringing the warring factions to the negotiating table.
Focusing on the Darfur conflict, Mohammed said the challenges holding the proces s from progress included continuation of hostilities, non-release of political p r isoners, mistrust from both sides and multiplicity of initiatives to end the cri s is.
“I am happy the African Union, the European Union and majority of the internatio nal community have offered their support to the Qatar mediation.
I hope we will succeed in order to bring an end to the suffering of millions of Sudanese people who are caught up in this crisis,” he said.
Mahmoud also said over 3,000 Kenyan professionals worked and lived in Qatar and that he would soon lead a delegation of Qatari businessmen to seek investment op p ortunities in Kenya.
Musyoka pledged that Kenya would open its Embassy in Doha before the end of the year and urged Qataris to visit Kenya as both tourists and investors.
The Vice President met the Qatari official during a stopover in Doha, from Tripo li, Libya, where he represented Kenya in the Community of Sahel-Sahara Countries (CEN-SAD) Heads of States and Government Summit.
The CEN-SAD block brings together 25 African countries in Central, East, West an d North Africa, seeking to boost inter-country trade and commerce.
Before leaving Tripoli, Musyoka held discussions with the Secretary General of C EN-SAD Mohamed Madani Al Ahzari at the CEN-SAD headquarters.
Ahzari said Kenya plays a critical role in moving the organisation forward and u rged Kenyan leaders to work towards promoting closer ties between member states.
Kalonzo said member states should realise the great potential in pushing for cro ss-border trade and investment.

04 june 2009 18:48:00

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