Dakar, Senegal – March 2008
Darfur/Darfur will be showing in Dakar mid-March as the Organisation of the Islamic Conference meets in Senegal’s capital.
Regarding Darfur and the Summit, from Reuters:
Chad, Sudan leaders to meet at Dakar Islamic summit
03 Mar 2008 14:09:11 GMT
By Diadie Ba
DAKAR, March 3 (Reuters) – Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade plans to host a meeting in Dakar next week between the leaders of Chad and Sudan to try to defuse the conflict between them and bring peace to Darfur.
In comments reported by state media on Monday, Wade said the encounter between Chadian President Idriss Deby and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir would take place during the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit to be held in Senegal on March 13-14.
“We’re going to organise a meeting between the Chadian and Sudanese presidents on the question of Darfur. We have a real chance there for a return to peace in that region,” Wade said late on Sunday, in comments broadcast by Senegalese state TV.
Deby and Bashir are among some 40 heads of state due to attend the Dakar summit, which will discuss the role of the world Islamic community in the 21st century.
The Chadian and Sudanese presidents have both accused each other of fomenting conflict on their common border and in Darfur, the western Sudanese region where political and ethnic violence has killed some 200,000 people since 2003, experts say.
Around 2.5 million more have been forced to flee from their homes in the conflict which pits Sudanese government forces and allied militia against local Darfuri rebels who say the central government in Khartoum has neglected their region.
Chad’s government has accused Sudan of arming and backing anti-Deby Chadian rebels, who early last month attacked the Chadian capital N’Djamena and besieged the presidential palace.
Khartoum denies this but has in turn often accused Deby of supporting anti-government insurgents in Darfur.
A spokesman for Wade said the Senegalese president was brokering the meeting between Deby and Bashir in his role as “facilitator” in efforts to end the Darfur crisis.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, one of the mediators designated by the African Union to resolve the tensions between Chad and Sudan, would not be attending next week’s Islamic summit in Dakar, Wade said, but he gave no reason.
Chad’s Deby and Sudan’s Bashir have met before to try to resolve the differences between them, which have brought the neighbours close to all-out war on a number of occasions.
A string of past non-aggression pacts and pledges have collapsed as fresh violence flares on their common border.
A 3,700-strong European Union force is deploying in Chad’s rugged eastern border region with Darfur with a U.N. mandate to protect refugees, civilians and aid workers.
It is intended to complement a much larger, 26,000-strong AU/U.N. force due to be deployed in Darfur. (Writing by Pascal Fletcher)