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France Invites Sudan, But Not Its President, to Africa Summit


France has asked Sudan to take part in an upcoming Franco-African summit, while making it clear that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is not invited.

French officials say President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to Mr. al-Bashir asking that he choose an envoy to attend the meeting.

Mr. al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) a year ago for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur region.

He faces arrest under an international arrest warrant, and has traveled only to countries that are not parties to the ICC in order to avoid arrest.

The Franco-African summit was originally set for Egypt, but was moved to the southern French city of Nice to avoid inviting Mr. al-Bashir.


The meeting is aimed at celebrating France's relationship with its former African colonies.

Rebels in Darfur took up arms against the Sudanese government in 2003. The ICC accuses Mr. al-Bashir of organizing a campaign of rape, murder, and other crimes against civilians in the region. Mr. al-Bashir has denied the charges and does not recognize the court's authority.

The United Nations says the Darfur conflict has killed 300,000 people and displaced more than 2.7 million. Sudan puts the death toll at 10,000.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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