Home | News    Saturday 16 October 2010

Kenya calls for IGAD summit on Sudan, Bashir’s attendance unconfirmed

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By Muhammad Osman

October 15, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) – Kenya has called for a summit of the Intergovernmental Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Sudan in Nairobi at the end of this month, the country’s foreign minister Moses Wetang’ula announced on Friday.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir attends on August 27, 2010 the promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution ceremonies in the capital, Nairobi (AFP)

However, he declined to say whether Sudan’s president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir will be welcome to attend the summit along with other heads of states.

Wetang’ula told the 245th ministerial meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), held at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Friday that the Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki had called for the special IGAD to start on October 30.

The AUPSC’s meeting was devoted primarily to discussing the situation in Somalia and galvanizing regional support for the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia. But the meeting also received briefing on the situation in Sudan.

Wetang’ula, whose country currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the AUPSC, said that the IGAD summit would bring together the signatories of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the National Congress Party (NCP) of north Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) of the South, as well as other actors including Nigeria, South Africa among others.

According to Wetang’ula, the summit will focus the upcoming referendum in January 2011 on the full independence of the semi-autonomous region of south Sudan.

“As a chair but being foreign minister of Kenya also, I informed the [AU Peace] and Security Council that we have called for a summit of IGAD and invited heads of states in my lobby on 30 of October to focus on the issues of the referendum in the southern Sudan,” he said.

Wetang’ula later told reporters that the summit would be attended by the chair of the AU assembly and the AU commission as well as president Zuma of South Africa in his capacity as the chair of the AU’s post-conflict reconstruction of Sudan.

But Kenya’s top diplomat would not be drawn on whether Sudan’s president Omer Al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), will attend the summit.

“We are inviting parties to the CPA and we don’t comment on who comes. It is a summit, I don’t know who will come but it is a summit” he responded.

Last August, Kenya faced a barrage of criticism for failing to arrest Bashir when he briefly visited the country to attend the ceremony of signing the country’s new constitution.

Kenya as a signatory to the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statue, was legally obliged to apprehend Bashir.

President Bashir faces two arrest warrants by the ICC for counts of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide allegedly committed in the course of a counterinsurgency campaign mounted by the Khartoum government against rebels in Darfur region, which began in 2003.

The presence of the Sudanese president in Kenya took many by surprise, including some members of the coalition government.

A spokesman for Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told CNN that he was "shocked" at Bashir’s presence and that his attendance was "out of the blue." Kenya’s Deputy Defense Minister David Musila said Kenya had "brought shame to itself" by receiving Bashir.

The US president released a statement in which he expressed his disappointment at Kenya’s hosting of president Bashir. "I am disappointed that Kenya hosted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in defiance of International Criminal Court arrest warrants for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide," Obama’s statement read.

At the time Moses Wetang’ula dismissed the criticism, saying that Bashir was invited as one of the country’s good neighbors.

"He [Bashir] was here today because we invited all neighbors and he is a neighbor."

"There are no apologies to make about anybody we invited to this function because I am sure we are enhancing peace and security and stability of this region more than anything else," Wetang’ula said.

(ST)

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  • 16 October 2010 08:58, by DASODIKO

    Welcome t Kenya Mr. Genocide master mind. The time you arrived the news constitution was not ratified, but this time Kenyan ordinary people will keep you in costody until Morino arrive to take you Hague.

  • 16 October 2010 14:58, by Jamesco Deng

    eee, let me laugh that the genocidar is going to falling onto the trap this time. Our heavenly God will not allow Kenyans to compromise corruptist, dictator and notorious man who claimed to be the president of republic of Sudan. The day we hear that he have boarded the plane, we shall begin laughing hoping not to escape our well placed net.

    • 18 October 2010 14:05, by Paul Ongee

      Only few months, Khartoum will remain speechless and only blame itself by a series of unfolding events. Intransigence has no room anymore because of the changing dynamics. Watch out.

      Paul Ongee
      Khartoum, SUdan



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