The Darfur Consortium

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SUDAN: civic groups reject nation’s bid to head the African Union

Written By: CISA

KHARTOUM, January 25, 2023 (CISA) - A bid by the Sudanese government to seek headship of the African Union (AU) has met with stiff resistance from human rights advocates.

Reports say the nation recently submitted a last minute nomination to be considered a candidate for the East African block to head the continental body for the year 2008.

Dismas Nkunda, spokesman for Darfur Consortium, a grouping of over 50 activist organizations working to end the suffering in Darfur, said it would be a huge blow to the credibility of the AU and its capacity to respond independently to the crisis if Khartoum was elected to chair the continental body

"How can the AU maintain a credible leadership role in the ongoing peace negotiations if it is headed by a party to the conflict? Tensions between Chad and Sudan are also escalating. The AU needs a leadership which can mediate independently," Nkunda said in statement.

Activists cautioned that the Sudanese government's leadership of the AU was a scenario that would complicate the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) deployment.

They said it would impede efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators who are wanted by the International Criminal Court for committal of crimes against the people of Darfur and also complicate efforts to restart peace talks.

"The African Union's refusal to extend the Presidency to Khartoum in 2006 and 2007 sent a strong message to Sudan's leadership that continental leaders considered resolution of the Darfur crisis a top priority.”

In 2006, AU summit held in Khartoum, Sudan lost the presidency to Denis Sassou N'guesso of Congo Brazzaville. Last year, the Summit once again passed over Sudan, this time handing the presidency to President John Kufuor of Ghana, whose term expires end of January.


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