No Date Fixed for Peace Summit, Says Sudan
Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said on Monday that the date still had not been set for a four-way peace summit grouping Sudan, Egypt, Kenya and Libya, reported AFP.
"The date and spot where the summit will be held have not yet been fixed," Ismail said, after a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher.
He added Egypt was a lynchpin for the mounting of any such summit, which would try to end Sudan's 18-year civil war.
Ismail had announced plans for a summit on August 4, but Egypt then denied being aware of any such agenda.
"I have no knowledge about this summit and there is no agreement on holding such a summit," Maher said at the time.
On Monday, former Sudanese prime minister and main opposition group leader Sadeq Al Mahdi urged the Egyptian and Libyan co-sponsors of a peace initiative for war-torn Sudan to support self-determination for the country's southerners, reported AFP.
Mahdi is secretary general of the Umma Party, who was ousted as premier by President Omar Al Bashir in a 1989 bloodless coup.
He said that refusing to allow south Sudan to decide its future would only harden opposition to unity with the north.
He warned that denying southern Sudanese the right to self-determination would spark demands for immediate separation which would probably gain support on the international and regional levels.
The government is obliged to abide by a provision in the constitution on the self-determination right, said the agency.
The joint peace bid, which includes calls for a transitional government in Khartoum and a pluralist democracy, seeks to end an 18-year war between rebels in the mainly animist and Christian south against successive Arab and Muslim northern governments.
However, a spokesman for the main rebel group in the south, the Popular Army for the Liberation of Sudan, assailed Mahdi for his remarks that religion was inseparable from statehood.
The spokesman, Yasser Arman, told Al Ayyam daily that such remarks were “a gift from the Ummah Party to the regime in Khartoum.”
Adding to Sudan's woes are recent floods, which devasted the capital's surrounding areas – Albawaba.com
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