Racism has enslaved Sudanese blacks, says Museveni

Durban- South Africa (PANA) -- Racism has taken a heavy toll on the black people of Sudan in the past 50 years, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said Saturday in Durban, South Africa.
Unfortunately, he added, the international community has shown total indifference to the problem, which was the main cause of the current 18-year-old civil war.
Speaking at the world conference against racism, the Uganda leader invited the Arab League states "to firmly ponder over this heart-rending issue to prove that there cannot be any taboo or differentiation between the different forms of racism".
"Black people in Sudan suffer twice", Museveni said, pointing out that they are both bullied and victims of humiliation and crimes simply because of their skin colour.
Secondly, he said, blacks in Africa's biggest state suffer because the international community does not seem to consider that their plight is worth looking into.
"Enough is enough", the Ugandan president said, adding that the plight of black Sudanese was just as painful and obvious as those of the people bullied in the Middle East.
He said it would be very discriminatory to denounce and mobilise against one of the causes and forget about the other.
Museveni therefore accused some of his counterparts, among whom was President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, of "exempting African people" from the reality of slavery and the slave trade as still practised in Sudan.
Sudan, however, denies that slavery exists in the country.
"Slavery still takes its toll on Africa.
Africa has somewhat been complicit in the practice of slavery and still holds on to practices similar to it in various forms", Museveni said.
He thus recommended that "the Durban meet give up any tendency which blames others for our own problems".
To the contrary, he said, "Durban should help set up common principles to be backed by African traditional values of tolerance and hospitality".

02 september 2001 09:38:00

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