Egypt postpones Darfur conference

A summit on the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur planned for 20 April has been postponed for logistical reasons, according to the Egyptian government.

    Darfur rebels had rejected the idea of the proposed summit

    "The Darfur summit has been postponed because some of the participants were not available," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu al-Ghait said on Sunday.

    Egypt was to host a mini-summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Shaikh on 20 April with other leaders from Chad, Libya, Nigeria and Sudan to try to find a solution to the Darfur crisis.

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

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

    According to a British parliamentary report, some 300,000 people have died in Darfur from the combined effect of war and famine since a rebellion broke out more than two years ago and was brutally repressed by Khartoum.

    On 1 April, the UN Security Council passed a resolution referring Darfur war criminals to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in a bid to pressure Khartoum into reaching a political solution to the conflict.

    SOURCE: AFP


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