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Sudan Tribune

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Sudan says no disagreements at ‘People of Sudan’ initiative forum

October 23, 2008 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government denied reports that differences have emerged at the ‘People of Sudan’ forum over ways to resolve the Darfur crisis.

Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir (R) gestures next to southern Sudanese president and First Vice President Salva Kiir (C) at the opening of a Sudanese peace conference in Khartoum on October 16, 2008 (AFP)
Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir (R) gestures next to southern Sudanese president and First Vice President Salva Kiir (C) at the opening of a Sudanese peace conference in Khartoum on October 16, 2008 (AFP)
Ahmed Belal, an adviser to president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir told Sudan official agency (SUNA) that solutions discussed were “just options”.

The deliberations tackled issues such as unifying the Darfur region into one state and granting the post of Vice president to a Darfuri.

The Sudanese official did not say whether a consensus was reached on the status of Darfur state.

However Belal hinted that Khartoum is open to the idea of a Darfuri Vice president.

“If that solves the crisis then we see no problem with that” he said.

Last week Khartoum launched a large consultation meeting on Darfur crisis in order to set out a national vision towards the end of the five years conflict where more that 300,000 people where killed since 2003.

A ruling National Congress Party (NCP) official has said that the outcome of the forum could lead to constitutional reform.

The three days consultations discussed the creation of one state in Darfur instead of the current three states, as it is requested by the rebels. However some NCP hardliners are reportedly opposed to the move and are mobilizing participants to reject this resolution.

Sudanese presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen stressed that the purpose of the consultations “is not to come up with final solutions”.

The forum has established a number of subcommittees to handle more specialized aspects of Darfur crisis such as reconciliations, public relations, development, refugees and security.

The minister of Industrialization Jalal Al–Degeir told SUNA that 60% of Darfur’s civil society and leaders took part in the forum.

But the Darfur rebel movements and some opposition parties boycotted the consolations. The rebels accused Khartoum of trying to divert the international community and delay the resolution of the conflict.

Others political parties spoke about prefixed resolutions and blamed government for ignoring them.

Last July the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor requested an arrest warrant for President Bashir, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Sudan’s government is seeking international support for having the UN Security Council (UNSC) to suspend Bashir’s indictment through trying to move forward on the political track.

(ST)