Sudan ready to drop AU bid

Sudan has said it was ready to withdraw its bid to head the African Union (AU) and avoid a division over its appointment that could sink Darfur peace talks and which critics say could damage Africa's credibility.

    Nigeria will probably stay on as the chair of the AU

    Sudan's leadership bid drew criticism from rights groups that say a Sudanese presidency would hurt AU efforts to improve Africa's record on democracy and human rights. Several African regional blocs also oppose it.

     

    Mustafa Osman Ismail, Sudan's presidential adviser on foreign affairs, said on Monday: "We do not want to make any division in order to achieve an objective, so if that means that Sudan should withdraw, we will withdraw."

     

    Ismail's comments followed several hours of talks among heads of state.

     

    Sudan nominated itself to chair the 53-member AU, based on a tradition that the host of its summit becomes the organisation's next leader.

     

    Sudan, which is under fire for rights abuses, wants to succeed Nigeria at the two-day summit that opened in Khartoum on Monday.

     

    "The general consensus is Nigeria [will stay on]. It will be for 12 months," a delegate, who asked not to be named, said as the private meeting of heads of state and ministers broke up.

     

    Earlier an AU official and delegates said five African states had asked Sudan on Sunday to withdraw.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Musta'ribeen, Israel's agents who pose as Palestinians

    Who are the Israeli agents posing as Palestinians?

    Musta'ribeen are an elite Israeli undercover unit that disguises themselves as Arabs or Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    100 years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.