News24

AU examines Darfur crisis

2009-10-29 16:48

Abuja - African leaders went into talks on Thursday to discuss an African Union (AU) report on how to resolve a six-year-long conflict in Sudan's western Darfur province.

Meeting under the auspices of the AU peace and security council, the leaders are to examine recommendations drawn up by a high-level AU panel led by South Africa's former president Thabo Mbeki.

The panel has recommended the creation of a hybrid court comprising Sudanese and foreign judges to try those suspected of committing crimes against humanity in Darfur.

It also suggests that a truth and reconciliation commission be established and consider reparation for losses incurred during the ongoing conflict.

The UN says up to 300 000 people have died and 2.7 million fled their homes since ethnic minority rebels in the western region of Darfur first rose up against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum in February 2003.

The Sudanese government disputes the death toll saying 10 000 people died.

"We hope and expect that thesummit will give a stronger leadership and clearer direction to the efforts by the international community to bring about peace, reconciliation, justice and democracy to Sudan," Ramtane Lamamra, the AU commissioner for peace and security said before the talks opened.

The heads of states are also expected to discuss the crises in Niger and Guinea, at the request of the regional grouping Economic Community for West African States (Ecowas), according to officials.