President Bashir pledges support for AU efforts in Darfur

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- The Sudan government has said it recognises the Darfur crisis as a big problem which it must address using all the resources at its disposal, and that Africans must learn to solve their own problems before inviting outsiders.
   In an exclusive interview with PANA Wednesday, Sudan President Omer El Bashir said his government was very supportive of the peace initiatives by the African Union (AU) to solve the Darfur problem, and that Khartoum will implement all the recommendations of the African Commission chairperson Alpha Konare and the United nations secretary-general Kofi Annan to immediately bring an end to the Darfur crisis, which has affected about one million people.
"With the same spirit and dedication that we are solving the southern Sudan problem, we are going to solve the Darfur issue.
It is our problem, and we must solve it.
We will address it using not only the established government structures but will also involve other systems which work like the use of traditional leaders and elites from the region," Bashir said during a courtesy call paid on him by the PANA team led by director- general Babacar Fall.
He said should Africans, through the AU, succeed in solving the problem in the western Sudan region, this would be used as a model for conflict resolution in other parts of the world, and that Africans were themselves unique in their traditions and level of development.
"Any part of Africa has got great potential for conflict due to high levels of illiteracy, ignorance, poverty and consequent lack of basic services like water, roads or schools.
All these are a ripe environment for conflict," he said.
However, he added, people should be ready to avoid, and also to solve, conflicts using these parameters.
"That is why, as Africans, we are better placed to resolve our own conflicts because we understand our situation better than outsiders," he added, describing the Darfur problem as a resource-based conflict.
He said his government was co-operating with the AU for a political solution to the crisis, adding that he was against foreign intervention of any sort being deployed in the area since this could lead to more conflict in the area where some 6.
5 million people are said to be living.
"You see the foreigners will not understand the people's cultures.
This could complicate the situation and yet we must address the problem now.
" "Without resolving the Darfur crisis our people's celebration of peace will be incomplete," he added.
He said his government has organised a major conference for the Darfur people to look for home-grown solutions to the crisis, which has put Sudan on the spotlight at a time it was about to celebrate a comprehensive peace deal with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

07 july 2004 14:19:00




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