Darfur mediator in Cairo ahead of extraordinary Africa summit

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
3 Min Read

CAIRO: The joint UN-African Union mediator for Darfur Djibril Bassole was in Cairo Thursday for talks with Egyptian officials in the wake of an impromptu Darfur meeting Egypt held earlier this week.

Bassole met with Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and discussed the results of the meeting that was held Aug. 24 and included Sudanese, American and Libyan representatives.

Darfur is one of three items on the agenda of the recently announced special African summit session that will be held Aug. 31 in Tripoli, Libya.

Alongside Darfur, the summit will aim to tackle the issue of Somalia and water disputes in the Great Lakes region, roughly the Congo, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Aboul Gheit denied that Egyptian participation in these mediation efforts stemmed purely from self-interest, saying in a statement, “Egyptian visions to settle the African disputes do not stem from narrow national interests, but stem from an Egyptian sense of responsibility towards the African brothers.

He was also critical of the international community regarding Somalia, stating that it was “hesitant towards Somalia in critical moments during which Somalia [was] in more need for support.

Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Aboul Gheit played host to US envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, Libyan Foreign and State Ministers Moussa Koussa and Mohamed Al-Sayala, as well as Sudan’s presidential advisor Ghazi Salah Al-Deen on Aug. 24. In what was labeled a consultative meeting, notable by its absence was Qatar, which is currently mediating between the Sudanese government and one of the factions, the Justice and Equality Movement. Egypt and Qatar have famously seen a new tension in their relationship after the Israeli offensive on Gaza last December, when Qatar was critical of the Egyptian stance on the opening of the Gaza border.

Gration later met with Moussa and in comments given to reporters after that meeting, he praised the role that Libya was playing in attempting to unite the rebel factions.

I m very impressed and very grateful to the role that the Libyans are playing not only in rebel unification but in bringing peace between Chad and Sudan, he said, I see the Libyans have a very positive role… and we are very proud to be partners with the Libyans.

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