|Africa News Digest
Sudan-France-Britain Talks End Without Positive Result
April 27 (EIRNS)A high-level Sudanese delegation ended talks today in Paris with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Britain's Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, a key figure in the founding of the private International Criminal Court (ICC). No progress was made in the talks, French Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux told reporters earlier today. On April 21 the Sudan Tribune reported that the French spokesman had said that Sudan must "fulfill its obligations to the ICC." He added, "This meeting is trilateral, because we have a very close dialogue with the United Kingdom on this issue."
During the talks, the two ex-colonial powers did not budge from their position. Afterwards, Desagneaux said that the French and British delegations "reiterated their commitment to international criminal justice and cooperation with the ICC."
Sudanese Presidential Assistant Nafi Ali Nafi, interviewed on Radio Monte Carlo Arabic service, said the focus of the visit was to establish bilateral relations. This was rejected by the former colonial powers. Nafi said that Sudan refuses to deal with the ICC, calling it a "political tool used against African leaders who are viewed to be uncooperative with Western programs in Africa."
France and Britain are now the only permanent members of the UN Security Council that are refusing to deal bilaterally with Sudan.
Anti-Sudan Sanctions Magnify Impact of Global Collapse
May 2 (EIRNS)The Sudanese Ministry of Finance and National Economy issued a report to the Cabinet on April 24, showing that the global economic collapse is having a devastating impact on the nation. These effects are compounded by the U.S. sanctions, which are undermining the unity of the country. The Brutish financial cartel has been confidently predicting, through such outlets as The Economist, that Sudan will be balkanized.
Despite the setbacks, a cabinet spokesman said the central bank would continue to subsidize electricity, promote agricultural organizations, pay off agricultural taxes for states, pay arrears for the Government of South Sudan, and fund hospitals, medication for children, and a national fund for students.
He also said that the Cabinet wanted citizens to be informed of the impact of the world economic and financial crisis on Sudan.
The impact of U.S. sanctions was exposed at a conference in Washington on April 29, sponsored by Executive Research Associates. The conference, entitled "U.S. Sanctions on Sudan: Intended and Unintended Consequences," released information developed by consultants in partnership with the National Foreign Trade Council, an American business organization. Their well-documented report showed that there are in effect two U.S. policies for Sudan: one for areas under the control of the central government, and another for areas that U.S. policy does not want to be under control of the central government. These areas include: Darfur, South Sudan, other areas designated as transition areas between North and South, and some internally displaced persons (IDP) camps around Khartoum.
This apartheid approach toward what should be considered a unified sovereign nation, is creating conditions for eventual secession of the South. A referendum on this question, scheduled for 2011, was part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPS) which ended the North-South civil war in 2005. Development in the South has been challenged by the sanctions. According to a report by the conference sponsors, logistical problems of three types challenge efforts at investment promotion in South Sudan: transportation, the supply chain and operational issues, and legal costs.
Already, to get around the predicament caused by the sanctions, parallel state-run institutions have been established in the South, such as an electricity company and a state bank. Such "sovereign" structures in South Sudan reinforce the notion of an independent South Sudan.