Sudanese president Omar al-Beshir has embarked on a controversial trip to Darfur, bringing promises of development and peace. The International Criminal Court accuses him of masterminding a genocide in the region.
Dancing to traditional music and chanting Islamic slogans, Beshir addressed thousands of Darfuris in the regional capital el-Fasher, his promises of development and peace drawing cheers from onlookers.
"We all know that injustices happened (here)," he said, in a speech broadcast live on state television. "But from day one we have been working to provide stability for all the people of
"We want to send this message to the world: we are the people of peace, we want peace ... we are the only ones who can achieve peace in
Promising more schools, universities, water projects and roads, Beshir said
Mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in the remote western region in early 2003, accusing the government of neglect. To quell the revolt,
International experts estimate some 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have had to flee their homes during the
Beshir said the prosecutor's request for an ICC arrest warrant for him over
Beshir did not visit slum-like camps in which millions of Darfuris driven from their homes reside around the major towns.
"We want Beshir to know we reject him visiting any of the camps for internally displaced people," a spokesman for Darfuris in the camps Abu Sherati told Reuters.
DIPLOMACY, NOT VIOLENCE
Beshir has reacted to the ICC move not with a violent backlash as the United Nations feared he might, but by forming a united front with opposition parties, seeking regional support and insisting he is ready for
He has pledged to continue implementing a north-south peace deal, and signed a landmark election law hours after the ICC announcement on July 14.
Aid agencies have worried about longer-term insecurity in
"Although this could be said to be an isolated incident, UNAMID condemns in the strongest terms such attacks on its staff members," the statement said.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, who is also the number two in the national government, urged the ICC on Tuesday to delay any warrant for Beshir.
"We should have time to consult the rest of Africa and the world," he said on a trip to
A diplomatic campaign has seen Sudanese officials visiting a dozen countries in the past week to drum up support for the tabling of a U.N. Security Council resolution to suspend any ICC warrant for Beshir for a renewable period of 12 months.
The Arab League said on Tuesday that
But, to deflect the ICC warrants already issued for junior minister Ahmed Haroun and militia leader Ali Kushayb,
Date created : 2008-07-23