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Split Widens Between U.S. and Africa Over Sudan

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Special to the NNPA from GIN –

(GIN) – African leaders and U.S. policymakers appear to be heading for a collision over an approach to the President of Sudan, Omar al Bashir. The Sudanese leader is facing charges by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide during the bitter seven-year conflict in Darfur.

Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika, who holds the rotating African Union presidency, urged the continent's leaders to resolve the conflict in the Sudan without the need to have Bashir arrested.

Subjecting a sovereign head of state to an arrest warrant was undermining African solidarity and African peace and security that they had fought for so many years, he said.

But in Washington, U.S. policymakers appear to favor a hardline approach outlined by the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice. Current U.S. special envoy to Sudan, ret. Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, favored incentives over sanctions and pressure, but he is unpopular with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Rice and may be pushed off to Kenya for a new job.

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