US President demands Sudanese peace dedication

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George W. Bush

«Sudan's government cannot continue to talk peace but make war»

George W. Bush

afrol News, 21 June - American President George W. Bush, speaking yesterday at the Sullivan Summit Dinner, confirmed the US policy towards Sudan. Bush asked the Sudanese government to stop blocking UN and US peace efforts, while not mentioning the Sudanese SPLA rebels with a single word.

President Bush said the United States would "continue" its "search for peace in Sudan." After Sudan's joining of the US-led alliance against terrorism, the US government has been involved in Sudanese peace negotiations.

- My policy towards Sudan seeks to end Sudan's sponsorship of terror and to promote human rights and the foundations of a just peace within Sudan itself, the US President said. "My envoy for peace in Sudan, former Senator John Danforth, has made progress toward a cease-fire and improved delivery of humanitarian aid to such places as the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan." 

Bush admitted there had been positive developments in Khartoum, especially in terms of international cooperation. "Since September the 11th, there's no question the government of Sudan has made some useful contributions in cracking down on terror," Bush said. 

- But Sudan can and must do more, the President added. "And Sudan's government must understand that ending its sponsorship of terror outside Sudan is no substitute for efforts to stop war inside Sudan." The appeal was met with applause by the audience, which included Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

- Sudan's government cannot continue to talk peace but make war, must not continue to block and manipulate UN food deliveries, and must not allow slavery to persist, President Bush said, receiving more applause. While international rights groups - backed by UN and US official reports - claim there is still slavery and slave raiding in Sudan, the government strongly denies this. 

While the US President's statement did not bring new arguments into America's Sudan policy, it notably left out the Sudanese rebels; also a party to the conflict. While the Sudanese government has been noted for gross human rights violations throughout the 20-year-old civil war, the SPLA rebels lately also have come in a negative light. 

Sources: Based on US govt and afrol archives

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