IGAD meeting on Sudan called off indefinitely; S.Sudan referendum in danger
Nairobi (Alshahid) -The Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) summit set for 29th november, 2010 after being postponed twice has now been called off indefinitely notably over President Omar Bashir’s discontent over certain issues on the agenda relating to Southern Sudan referendum, Alshahid reporters confirm.
“Bashir has used all tactics and links with leaders to secure a postponement,” Kenya’s Foreign Ministry official, whose identity is kept secret for obvious reasons, told Alshahid.
The summit was moved from Nairobi to Addis, notably over unease at Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s possible attendance.
Later a meeting of foreign ministers 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 had 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, is being pressured by regional countries led by Kenya to allow the referendum in Souther Sudan to proceed as scheduled.
Southern Sudan has all the indications of voting for secession in the referendum scheduled 9th January 2011 but the commission organising it has said a miracle was needed to stay on schedule.
There are contentions over the Abyei boundary and oil revenue sharing.
IGAD was one of the key brokers in the 2005 north-south peace agreement that ended Sudan’s two-decade civil war.
Observers have warned that the referendum needed to be perfectly organised if faults that could lead to a new flare-up between old foes were to be avoided.