Addis meeting on Sudan postponed

October 30, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Oct 30 – A regional meeting on the situation in Sudan which was due to start in Addis Ababa Friday was postponed, diplomats said.

The Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) summit was moved from Nairobi to Addis, notably over unease at Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir\’s possible attendance, earlier this week.

But a meeting of foreign ministers Friday due to kick off the two-day summit in the Ethiopian capital never took place.

"It has been postponed, it is now scheduled tentatively for the 6th and 7th (of November) in Addis," an official at the Kenyan foreign ministry told AFP.

"An issue came up and it has been postponed. The date was not convenient for many, it came too soon," the official added without elaborating.

An IGAD official confirmed the meeting\’s postponement and said it was too early to confirm a new date.

Bashir, who is under an International Criminal Court arrest warrant over genocide and war crimes in Darfur, attended an official ceremony in Nairobi in August, unleashing a barrage of criticism from rights group.

While Kenya is a signatory of the ICC\’s founding treaty and therefore theoretically under obligation to arrest Bashir if he enters the country, Ethiopia is not and has already welcomed the Sudanese president on its soil.

IGAD was one of the key brokers in the 2005 north-south peace agreement that ended Sudan\’s two-decade civil war.

A referendum on the south\’s independence is due to be held on January 9 but the commission organising it has said a miracle was needed to stay on schedule.

Observers have warned that the referendum needed to be perfectly organised if flaws that could lead to a new flare-up between old foes were to be avoided.




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