Muslim leaders launch Darfur probe

August 3, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – Muslim leaders from the Great Lakes Region on Monday said they had launched an independent investigation into the Darfur conflict in Sudan.

Kenya’s Chief Kadhi Sheikh Hammad Kassim said leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo appointed an 11- member team to dialogue with the warring parties in Sudan.

“We don’t know how long it will take but we are starting the investigations immediately. In fact there is a team leaving tomorrow (Tuesday) to meet with the Sudanese leaders,” he said.

He further said they would examine the activities of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Sudan.

Accompanied by Muslim leaders from the six countries, the Chief Kadhi said it was important for them to look for an African solution to the conflict.

“We must take a lead and initiate missions to bring peace in Darfur and the wider region; to the exclusion of undue external interference,” he said.

Sheikh Kassim however refused to talk about President Omar Al Bashir saying their interest will be to restore peace.

The ICC issued a warrant for the arrest of President Bashir in March this year for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Muslim leaders said they would also look into the Somali crisis with the hope of restoring peace.

He said it was important for Muslims to approach the holy month of Ramadhan with a spirit of cooperation in the Great Lakes Region and brainstorm on how they can end the crisis affecting Somalia and Sudan.

“As we approach the Ramadhan, we commit ourselves to more cooperation throughout the region and to always inform one another of the sighting of the moon,” he said.

The crisis in Sudan and Somalia has resulted to a growing number of refugees fleeing from their countries to Kenya.


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