United States Senator John Kerry is expected to meet
Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha and other government officials today
(Thursday). Senator Kerry is however not expected to meet embattled President
Omar Hassan Al- Bashir who has been indicted by The Hague-based International
Criminal Court for war crimes allegedly committed in the restive Darfur region.
Senator Kerry, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,
said he would engage Khartoum on humanitarian as well as issues pertaining to
the conflict in Darfur which has killed at least 300 thousand people and scores
injured since 2003. Khartoum however said that Senator Kerry's visit is a clear
manifestation of the Obama administration's positive attitude towards Sudan.
Yasser Arman is a senior member of the SudanPeople's Liberation Movement (SPLM) Political Bureau. He tells reporter
Peter Clottey that Senator Kerry's visit would help push to the forefront
implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the war
between the north and South.
is an important event and as you know Senator Kerry is a prominent figure and
he is adding value after the U. S envoy came here when he presented the
administration's point. Senator Kerry is adding another angle of the congress
and of the legislature of the United States. And a man of his caliber coming at
this critical stage to Sudan will open new doors, new avenues, and new
opportunities and trying to work out resolutions of the Darfur crisis as well
as implementing the CPA. He would also
be trying to strengthen peace and democracy in Sudan, "Arman noted.
said Senator Kerry's visit would have an enormous impact on the full
implementation of the CPA.
he would add his voice which is a strong voice to the need of implementing the
CPA and honoring the commitment from the National Congress side. And he will
help both parties and most importantly he would also be visiting Darfur and
that would bring more focus on the issue of Darfur and the issues of the CPA.
And we think his presence is of value to us (SPLM) and we encourage more visits
from him and others to focus on the implementation of the CPA and the
democratization and transformation of the country and the comprehensive
resolution of the Darfur crisis," he said.
described the Darfur humanitarian crisis as reprehensible
of all it is regrettable to say the least about the development of the
humanitarian side especially after the expulsion of the 13 NGO's
(Non-Governmental Organizations). We believe the only way out from all these
complications of the humanitarian situation the ICC as well as the
implementation of the CPA is a serious engagement, an engagement that would
bear fruit. And engagement that would be in resolving these problems and his
(Senator Kerry) visit to Darfur would actually give more emphasis and more
attention to the humanitarian situation and the need to resolve it amicably,"
Arman pointed out.
Kerry's visit follows a similar visit to Khartoum of the U. S special envoy to
Sudan, Scott Gration who told Khartoum on his visit that Washington wanted to strengthen its ties with Sudan, but warned of
an impending crisis after Sudan expelled 13 aid groups from Darfur, saying the
groups had cooperated with the ICC.
Peace Agreement (CPA) effectively ended what was widely described as Africa's
longest war between Khartoum government
and the insurgent Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).
Political analysts see the
main obstacles to the full implementation of the 2005 CPA to be President
Bashir's ruling National Congress Party's of unwillingness to embrace genuine
power sharing and elections, and ultimately allow a referendum for southern
self-determination after the six-year interim period.