Sudan

Arab League to meet in Darfur

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January 16, 2010 (KHARTOUM) - Ambassadors from the Arab League will head to Darfur for a rare meeting outside Cairo aimed at showing Arab support to the restive region of Darfur where government militias killed 300, 000 civilians.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mussa (AFP) The Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa will visit Darfur on February 12 to inaugurate a number of humanitarian projects in North Darfur state. Initially the visit had been scheduled to take place on January 20.

Moussa will take part in the opening of three hospitals and three villages in the three states of Darfur that have been implemented and financed within the Arab support for stability in Darfur.

Delegates at Arab League Council will hold a meeting in one of the states of Darfur to emphasis Arab support to Darfur civilians, especially in promoting the voluntary return of displaced persons, stressing that the council would provide basic services and rebuilding villages platform for stability, said Arab League's envoy for Sudan, Salah Halima.

He said the visit of the Arab League representatives is expected to include meetings at both the popular and official levels to hear the point of view and demands of Darfur people. The visits also aim to identify the latest humanitarian and security developments on the ground.

The Arab League pledged since 2007 to contribute to Darfur development and rehabilitation and collected some 250 million US dollars; also some Arab states took in charge directly the construction of some projects.

Most of atrocities, war crimes and crimes against humanity since 2003 were committed by Arab tribes in the region with the support of the Sudanese government. The humanitarian tragedy in Darfur raised the concern of the international community which provided the needed humanitarian assistance in Darfur.

The Arab countries were blamed for their indifference toward the cause of the Darfur and their unconditional support to the President Omer Al-Bashir.

Arab League will participate in the consultative meetings of donors to be held on April 18 in Doha, which includes the European Union, the United States, Japan, the African Union, and the Arab League as well as representatives of some international organizations in order to identify the role of these actors to support and promote the peace process in Darfur, Ambassador Halima said. Pointing out that the League will follow closely consultations between civil society and Darfur rebel movements and the talks between the government and the rebels.

(ST)