Troubled Darfur is looking up: Dr Ismail

DUBAI — The Sudanese Foreign Minister, Dr Mustafa Osman Ismail, asserted yesterday that the troubled western region of Darfur is witnessing improvement both in terms of the humanitarian situation and security, as has been highlighted in the United Nation's latest humanitarian report.



by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Fri 27 May 2005, 11:49 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:32 PM

Dr Ismail, who toured China and Vietnam before landing here, said the African Union (AU) will expand its peace-keeping forces in the region soon to ensure peace and security for the people of Darfur.

Pointing out that the summit meeting in Tripoli of seven African leaders was successful in helping continuation of talks between the Sudanese government and Darfur opposition forces, he said the government was committed to continuing talks with the armed Darfur forces as part of its efforts to establish peace in the region and ensure reconstruction and development all over the country.

With regard to implementation of the peace agreement signed earlier between the Sudan government and Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), he said the Sudan Constitution's Amendment Committee was about to complete its task and will place the draft bill before the parliament for approval. The amended bill would ensure rights for children, elderly and women who will enjoy full rights to participate in decision-making for the first time in the history of the country.

"The new government will be formed before July 9 and the leader of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army, Dr John Garang, will visit Khartoum to take the oath of his new post," Dr Ismail said.

Sounding optimistic, The minister said by the beginning of 2006, peace would have been established in all parts of Sudan, after which Khartoum will get ready to host the African Summit in March and the Arab Summit in June 2006.

Replying to a question about Sudan's relations with Eritrea, he said that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will play a key role in normalising the relations between Sudan and Eritrea, but said there will be no normalcy till Asmara fulfils its "commitment of removing obstacles that hinder restoration of relations".

Speaking about his country's ties with the UAE, Dr Ismail said Sudan and the UAE enjoy a distinguished relationship and cooperation in all fields. The UAE was the first country which offered to invest in Sudan and contribute to the reconstruction of southern Sudan.

UAE businessmen are currently investing in the fields of agriculture, real state and education. Besides, three UAE banks will soon come up in Khartoum, including Emirates and Sudan Bank (ESB), the biggest of the new Islamic financial institutions which was inaugurated on May 15.

Dr Ismail said his tour of Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand was part of Sudan's plan to open embassies in these countries to enhance relations with these governments. The trip was also aimed at attracting investment to Sudan.


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