Khartoum, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sudanese minister of state for foreign affairs, Al-Samani al-Wasilah, has asserted that “Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will call for a comprehensive national dialogue during his upcoming visit to Darfur Province and will urge the people there to close the page of the past and participate in building the homeland.”
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of Arab League [AL] Secretary General Amr Musa visit to Sudan, Al-Wasilah praised the AL’s role in dealing with the crisis and talked about the second stage for the solution which starts after Musa’s visit and during which a dialogue will begin with the United Nations and coordination with the African Union. He pointed out that the Sudanese judiciary had tried all those who proved to have been involved in committing crimes in Darfur and therefore he (Al-Wasilah) believes that the Sudanese judiciary should be given the opportunity to complete its task in accordance with the conditions of the Sudanese society which is more interested in the reconciliations system and cordial solution than the judicial one. He referred to the efforts the Senegalese president is exerting at present to restore Sudanese-Chadian relations back to normal and underlined Sudan’s interest and desire for this relationship that needs to be based on mutual respect and sincere intentions so as to end the clash and dispute between the two countries.
Al-Wasilah went on to say, “We are hoping that President Al-Bashir’s visit to Darfur will be an incentive for action because the dialogue falls within the framework of a national vision in which all the parties participated so as to close this page, bring Darfur back to normal, and contribute to the advancement of the political and economic process in Sudan.” Regarding the Chad and Sudan dossier, the Sudanese minister of state said “action on the dossier was resumed last week through [Senegalese] President Abdullah Wade’s initiative and the two sides declared they were ready to restore relations. This will take a procedural track. All in all, we are improving relations and seeking to let Sudan have balanced relations with all countries on condition that the intentions are sincere and mutual and international charters regulating relations with neighboring countries are respected.”
Regarding the Darfur rebels’ exploitation of the International Criminal Court’s [ICC] stand to escalate against the regime in Sudan, Al-Wasilah stated, “None of these parties are expected to have a stand and change it easily but our brothers in the armed movements and factions are expected to act to close this page. We ask until when this situation in Darfur will remain. We believe everyone is responsible — the government, opposition, armed factions, and political parties — because we are seeking to stop this attrition which is harming the country’s stability. All must take stands which help build the homeland. I therefore appeal to them from this platform beware because no matter how deep the dispute is, only by dialogue we can get rid of all the past’s negative attitudes. The negotiating table is the only way to achieve the demands.” Regarding Sudan’s stand on the Arab plan for resolving the crisis, he said “Sudan was part of the Arab foreign ministers’ meetings and presented its view which was endorsed totally. We therefore value what was agreed on during the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting.”
When asked Whether or not Sudan offer more investigations and trials of defendants in Darfur cases, Al-Wasilah told Asharq Al-Awsat, “Sudan’s judiciary continues the trials but these cases cannot be handled emotionally or speeded up for any purposes other than achieving justice. They might take time and it should be taken into account that such leaks that happen from time to time are the ones impeding the judicial process because they cause internal confusion in society.”
Concerning the government’s stand of the three-month period set by the prosecutor and the ICC, Al-Wasilah said, “We will not have any dialogue with the ICC or enter into stands with it to recognize it. The talks will be with the organizations in which we are members, that is, the regional ones which have the right under the UN Charter to manage the dossiers that achieve security, peace, and cooperation within their sphere of action.”