Egypt to host summit on Darfur

Egypt is to hold a regional summit on the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region, as part of an effort to help Khartoum comply with UN resolutions on the conflict.

    The conflict in Darfur has so far killed 300,000 people

    The Egyptian daily Al-Ahram said the two-day summit, expected to bring together the leaders of Egypt, Chad, Libya, Nigeria and Sudan, would open on 15 May at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

    "The summit will discuss the implications of UN Security Council resolution 1593 on Darfur and the trial of those responsible for committing crimes in the region at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague," the paper said on Friday.

    Egypt had initially planned to convene the Darfur summit on 20 April, but it was postponed for logistical reasons, according to the Egyptian government.

    Rebel rejection

    Darfur rebel groups have already rejected the idea of the summit, charging that its only purpose is to offer support to the Sudanese government.

    The security council approved a resolution in late March demanding prosecution before The Hague-based court of 51 suspects accused of human rights violations in Darfur.

    The inquiry found that Sudanese government forces and militias had committed abuses including murder, torture, rape and pillage in the suppression of the two-year-old conflict in Darfur.

    Lethal conflict

    The scorched earth campaign waged by the government against the rebels has left more than 300,000 dead and 2.4 million people displaced, according to a report by a British parliamentary committee.

    Sudan has vowed not to hand over the suspects, saying its judiciary is competent enough to handle the cases.

    It said it would do so in accordance with a provision of the ICC convention, which states that the court will prosecute suspects only after individual countries fail to administer proper justice to the accused.

    A similar five-way meeting over Darfur - also without the presence of rebel movements - was held in Libya last October but failed to yield any significant results.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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