Sudan to raise Darfur issue at Francophonie Summit

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- The government of Sudan is determined to raise the Darfur problem at the summit meeting of the International Organisation of the Francophonie taking place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso later this month, according to officials of the Foreign Ministry in Khartoum.
   The Officials are confident Darfur would be discussed and, hopefully, a resolution passed on the issue by the Summit, where Sudan would be seeking membership of the organisation, albeit as an observer, for the time being.
   According to Ambassador Beshir Abusitta, Director General of International Co-operation in the Foreign Ministry, this is part of a strategy to enhance the government's diplomatic leverage not only in resolving the Darfur conflict but more generally, to improve relations with all its nine neighbours.
   Sudan's neighbours are all members of the International Francophonie Organisation.
Abusitta, who is leading Sudan's membership bidding team is very clear about his delegation's mission to Burkina Faso.
  "It will be to inform member States of the root causes of the conflict in Darfur and about government's determination to solve the problem in a peaceful manner," he told PANA, adding: "this is a great opportunity for us to again lay out our case for a peaceful solution.
" "When you have leaders from four continents representing as many as 52 nations in one room, you cannot afford to miss the opportunity when you are confident you have a clear case," he stressed.
Sudan is also counting on Burkinabe President Blaise Campaore to be personally involved in the quest for solution to the Darfur crisis when he assumes Chairmanship of the Francophonie organisation.
There is no doubt that membership of the organisation, even at observer level, would provide Sudan with an additional tool for its diplomacy which is said to be at its most active phase since independence.
  To this end, Khartoum plans to open diplomatic missions in Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe as well as in Equatorial Guinea, the only three African countries where it does not yet have accredited ambassadors, although they are on good terms.
   Another argument Sudan would put forward in Ouagadougou for seeking membership of the Francophonie Organisation is that thousands of its students study the French language in nearly all of its 10 State-owned universities.
  At the Libya Market in Khartoum, a good number of traders understand a smattering of French and even bargain in Moliere's language.
  

10 november 2004 17:46:00




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