South Sudan wants El Bashir punished for AU Summit snub

Kampala- Uganda (PANA) -- A Southern Sudanese envoy said Tuesday President Omer E l Bashir's failure to attend the 15th African Union (AU) Summit in Kampala, Uganda, is a clear sign of his unwillingness to cooperat e in ending the war in Darfur and his party's deliberate steps to delay the January 2011 referendum.
Southern Sudanese Ambassador John Andruga Duku, leading an international campaig n for South Sudan's Referendum in 2011, said the failure by El Bashir to come personally to Kampala to discuss the pressing secur ity issues in Darfur and parts of Sudan must be sanctioned.
''What is the position of the African Union regarding its member states totally ignoring it when there are important decisions that touch on the security of an entire region,'' the Sudanese diplomat stated.
Prior to the summit, President Bashir visited Chad, a signatory to the Rome Stat ute, which created the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague , Netherlands but was not arrested, even though the court has issued a warrant of arrest for the Sudanese leader over alleged genocide charges.
The AU has called those warrants a threat to regional peace in Darfur and the en tire Sudan, which remains fragile.
African leaders meeting in Kampala, Uganda, were expected to make a declaration on the issue Tuesday, at the end of their three-day debate on various issues.
Duku said the failure by the AU to discuss the pre-referendum preparations ahead of 2011 meant that the entire Summit had lost an important moment in its histor y to tackle the subject, which is key to the stability of the entire East African region.
''The failure of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) would have an impact on the peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
Why are they (leaders) not talking about it.
Pressur e must be exerted on Bashir to stop undermining the CPA,'' he said.
The official said the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) was deliberately dela ying the referendum discussions by demanding to take entire control of the Referendum Commission, which is in the process of being created t o run the referendum in January, the last stage in a six-year plan for peace in Southern Sudan.
Duku said the recent efforts by the NCP to assume the control of the key positio ns in the referendum commission had already created suspicion within the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).
''This is an illustration of the lack of faith.
It makes us very suspicious.
The re are deliberate delays in the referendum and the end result would be to postpone the referendum.
If this happens, we will revert back to war and this will affect the entire region,'' the official told PANA.
The Southern Sudanese official said President El Bashir could have assigned Vice President Salva Kiir to the AU Summit, if he was committed to its work and the overall peace in Sudan.

27 july 2010 13:00:00




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