|Africa News Digest
Mbeki Responds to EIR on Development of North and South Sudan
April 19 (EIRNS)Former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, who, along with the former Presidents of Nigeria and Burundi, today addressed a United States Institute of Peace (USIP)-sponsored forum: "The Future of the Two Sudans," expressed his agreement with EIR's Lawrence Freeman on the need to develop integrated infrastructure for North and South Sudan and the surrounding region, concentrating on food, power, water, and rail development, because there was no vision from the West, especially in Washington, D.C., that looked past the referendum this past January, and formal creation of two Sudans on July 9.
President Mbeki heads the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, while former President of Burundi Pierre Buyoya, and former President of Nigeria, Abdulsalami Abubakar, are both members of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan. The three Presidents are working on the future of North and South Sudan. Mbeki also said that it was necessary to relieve North Sudan of the $36 billion debt it has assumed responsibility for. This was one of the conditionalities being demanded to achieve peace and stability in Darfur.
Mbeki also said that the three former Presidents have discussed with the World Bank the challenge of developing both North and South Sudan. He agreed that development of agriculture, infrastructure, and related issues were important for the international community to deal withnot just the political issues. He said that Washington policymakers should be sensitive to the economic development issue raised, and asked the moderator of the forum to help sensitize Washington on the issue raised by the questioner.