Kenya expresses concern over Darfur

June 4, 2009 12:00 am

, DOHA,Qatar, Jun 4 – Kenya has expressed concern that collapse of the on-going mediation on Darfur would impact negatively on the fragile holding in the South.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka raised the issue on Wednesday with Qatari minister for Foreign affairs Ahmed bin Abdallah Al-Mahmoud, who is the Chief Mediator in the Darfur Peace Process.

The talks, currently underway in Doha, bring to the negotiating table the government of President Omar El Bashir and rebel leaders in the western region.

“Kenya is anxious to see progress in the Darfur Peace Process because we are concerned that failure might impact negatively on peace already prevailing in the South," the Vice President told his Qatari host.

He told the negotiators to borrow from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) so that the people of Darfur can learn from the process that took place in Southern Sudan.

“I know the circumstances are not exactly the same but the fundamentals are the same. The key issues of wealth and power sharing are obtained in both cases," Mr Musyoka added.

On his part, Mr Mahmoud said the challenges holding the process from progress include continuation of hostilities,   non-release of political prisoners, mistrust from both sides and multiplicity of initiatives to end the crisis.

“I am happy the African Union, the European Union and majority of the international community have offered their support to the Qatar mediation.
 I hope we will succeed in order to bring an end to the suffering of millions of Sudanese people who are caught up in this crisis,” he said.

Mr Mahmoud also said over 3000 Kenyan professionals worked and lived in Qatar and that he would soon lead a delegation of Qatari businessmen to seek investment opportunities in Kenya.

Mr Musyoka pledged that Kenya would open its Embassy in Doha before the end of the year and urged Qataris to visit Kenya as both tourists and investors.

The Vice President met the Qatari official during a stopover in Doha, from Tripoli Libya, where he represented Kenya in the Community of Sahel-Sahara Countries (CEN-SAD) Heads of States and Government Summit.

The CEN-SAD block, brings together 25 African countries in Central, East, West and North Africa, seeking to boost inter-country trade and commerce.
Before leaving Tripoli, Mr Musyoka held discussions with the Secretary General of CEN-SAD Mohamed Madani Al Ahzari at the CEN-SAD headquarters.

Mr Ahzari said Kenya plays a critical role in moving the organisation forward and urged Kenyan leaders to work towards promoting closer ties between member states.

The Vice President said member states should realize the great potential in pushing for cross-border trade and investment.


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