Sudan tops summit

PEACKEEPER: A guard of honour stands in front of African Union flags at Bolle international Airport in Addis Ababa. Pic. Karel Prinsloo. 28/01/2007. © AP
PEACKEEPER: A guard of honour stands in front of African Union flags at Bolle international Airport in Addis Ababa. Pic. Karel Prinsloo. 28/01/2007. © AP

ADDIS ABABA - A summit of African Union leaders began in Ethiopia yesterday with Sudan receiving a public dressing-down for the government's bombing of its own people in Darfur.

ADDIS ABABA - A summit of African Union leaders began in Ethiopia yesterday with Sudan receiving a public dressing-down for the government's bombing of its own people in Darfur.

The worsening violence in the region also threatens Khartoum's ambition to chair the organisation.

New UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, will add his weight to the mounting pressure on Omar al-Beshir's regime when he holds showdown talks with the Sudanese president on the sidelines of the summit.

The summit is also focusing on putting together a peacekeeping force for lawless Somalia, and on issues such as global warming and the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

In his opening speech, the head of the AU commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, said Sudan must stop bombing the people of Darfur.

Ban said the same thing ahead of his arrival in Ethiopia.

Human rights groups are outraged at the idea of Khartoum assuming the presidency of the 53-member AU given its record in Darfur.

The conflict has reportedly resulted in the deaths of about 200000 people and displaced nearly 2,5million since 2003.- Sapa-AFP

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