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Date for Egypt summit on Darfur not yet fixed: Sudan

سودانيزاونلاين.كوم
sudaneseonline.com
5/8/2005 7:20am

KHARTOUM, May 7 (AFP) -- The date for a regional summit on the crisis in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, originally set for May 15 and 16, will be fixed later, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said Saturday.
"This was a proposed rather than a final date which will be set to suit the circumstances of each nation," Ismail was quoted as saying by the Sudanese press.

Ismail said the aim of the conference was to "set the stage for reaching a quick solution to the Darfur crisis".

Egypt said on Friday that it would organise the summit, expected to bring together the leaders of Egypt, Chad, Libya, Nigeria and Sudan, as part of an effort to help Khartoum comply with UN resolutions on the conflict.

"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," Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper said.

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

Darfur rebel groups had already rejected the idea of the summit, charging that its only purpose was 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 ethnic minority uprising in Darfur.

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 was 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.

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