France considering involvement in supervision of cease-fire agreement

Al-Ra'y al-Amm web site (Khartoum) in Arabic
February 21, 2002

The French ambassador in Khartoum, Dominic Reno [name as published], has said that his country was studying the possibility of contributing to the implementation of the Nuba Mountains cease-fire agreement.

The ambassador hoped that the current year would be an year of peace in Sudan. He said France very much wanted the Sudanese to agree on political solution which would preserve the unity of the country.

In an interview with the editor-in-chief [of Al-Ra'y al-Amm newspaper], Al-Ustadh [honorific] Idris Hasan, the ambassador said the factors which could help Sudan out of its crisis were available in the [proposed] initiatives and that the issue required flexibility from all the parties. He said most of the information and facts for the required solution could be found in the joint [Egyptian-Libyan] and the IGAD [Inter-Governmental Authority on Development] initiatives. "Solutions do not come by the wind, they derive their composition from the reality," he said.

Reno said peace could not be imposed by the USA or the EU countries, but it necessitates the participation of all the Sudanese in the process of making it. He said the way to peace was difficult and strenuous and required patience and mutual trust. He said there now existed an opportunity which the Sudanese parties [in conflict] should utilize.

The ambassador pointed out the importance of integrating military and political roles so that the scenario which occurred after the Addis Ababa agreement was not repeated. Reno touched on the Sudanese-European dialogue, saying that Sudan had shown progress in two files out of the five proposed files of dialogue between the two sides.

The ambassador said that the were no political obstacles in economic and commercial transactions between Sudan and France. He also said there were no French reservations on investment in the area of oil. He said France would increase its aid to Sudan in the coming years after it incorporated it in the programmes of priority countries of cooperation. He said that France alone shouldered a quarter of the aid being presented by EU to the member countries of Cotonou partnership agreement. (Text of the interview on page four)

Meanwhile, the EU has said that it will it will start from December implementing the national document on Sudan in accordance with the Cotonou agreement which awarded Sudan 155m euros...